Back to School Safety
As the first day of school is approaching or perhaps it already passed the following are a few safety tips on keeping our children safe as they get to and from school.
Walking to School: According to Safe Kids Worldwide, every day, 44 children are hit by a car in the United States. Distractions are everywhere see the tips to keep safe while walking to school:
- Pay attention to where you are walking. Put down devices and remove headphones.
- Cross at the corner of the street and always look left, right, left before crossing
- Walk on the sidewalk when available, if there isn’t a sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
Biking to School: For some children the preference is biking to school. Parents, make sure to remind children to always wear a helmet and know how to put it on correctly. Safe Kids recommends taking the Helmet Fit Test:
- EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V" under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
- MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.
Don't forget - bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as motorists.
Riding the School Bus: Kids should play it SAFE when it comes to buses:
- Stay five steps away from the curb
- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you to board
- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus
- Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.
Riding a Car: Booster seat vs Seat Belt: Generally, children will need a booster until they are 4’9″ tall, which will be between 8 to 12 years old. To ride without a booster, a child needs to be able to pass the 5 Step Test:
- Sits all the way back against the vehicle seat.
- Knees bent at the edge of the vehicle seat and feet on the floor.
- Shoulder belt fits evenly across the collarbone and sits flush with the torso.
- Lap belt is low on the hips, touching the tops of the thighs.
- Can stay comfortably seated this way the entire ride.
Child Passenger Safety Week is September 18-24, 2018. Check to see if your local Safe Kids Coalition or Partner will be hosting an event to get your car seat properly fitted. Don’t want to wait for an event check your local police station to schedule an appointment or go during one of their walk in days.
Driving to school: Make sure your teen is ready to drive to school. Explain the difference in traffic and pedestrians. Discuss the different types of distractions that can occur within the car. Follow the Pennsylvania Young Driver Law.
For more safety tips and information please visit the Safe Kids PA and American Trauma Society PA Division websites.
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