According to SafeKids.org, preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the U.S. and unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death for children 5-19. The following are safety tips for students getting to school. Visit www.safekids.org for more information.
Walking to School:
- Teach children at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street
- Teach children to put away devices and headphones when crossing the street so they are focused on their surroundings.
- Teach children how to read and use crosswalk signs.
- Children under 10 should always cross the street with an adult. It is often difficult for children to gauge the speed of oncoming traffic.
- Parents - be a good role model. Demonstrate these safety tips by pointing out potential walking hazards, put down your devices while walking, and help your child identify proper crosswalk procedures.
Riding the Bus:
- Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them unit the bus arrives.
- Teach children to wait for the bus to completely stop at least three giant steps from the curb.
- Teach children to use the handrails when boarding or exiting the bus to avoid falls.
- Watch for traffic around the bus and do not assume that other drivers are observing proper rules of the road.
- Check with your school Principal for rules regarding bicycles for that specific school. The Principal can make suggestions for safely navigating school grounds.
- Teach children to wear a helmet! The Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road lists the use of a proper helmet as its highest concern for safety.
- Teach children to obey the rules of the road. It is not safe to assume that drivers are watching out for children on bikes.
- Teach children the safest route to get to school, that includes sidewalks and clearly marked crossings.
- Practice the safest routes with your children until you feel confident they can navigate the route on their own.