Summertime offers a nice reprieve from the constant shuffling of papers, carpools and heavy backpacks of the school year. But once fall rolls around again, parents and kids have a lot to juggle.
As your children march out the door on that first day of school – and every day – there is really only one priority: Nothing is more important than making sure they get home safely. The following safety reminders from Children’s Medical Center will help get your child’s school year started on the right foot:
Walking to school
Review your family’s walking safety rules.
Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
Never dart out in front of a parked car.
Practice walking to school with your child.
Remind your child to keep their head up and phone down when headed back to school.
Teach children the proper way to get on and off the bus
Line up 6 feet away from the curb as the bus approaches
If seat belts are available, buckle up
Wait for the bus to stop completely before standing
Do not cross in front of the bus if possible, or walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the other drivers.
Preventing backpack-related injuries
Choose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight.
Preventing playground-related injuries
Encourage your child only to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, as they are too hard.
Children under the age of four should not use climbing equipment and watch older children when they’re climbing.
Do not let your children use monkey bars. They are unsafe and should not be used by children of any age.