Take the time to look at books together with your child. This will help them to learn certain skills needed as they become school aged. One skill is learning how to stay safe getting to school, at school, and coming home from school. Taking time to read picture books or short stories about school safety with your child will encourage them to not only keep reading, but learn about safety. Many times we think that school safety is only in schools. People think school safety happens at school – not getting hurt at recess, violence in the hallways, or becoming injured while in class (phys-ed class). However, children must learn how to be safe when traveling to and from school. The following is a list of things you can do to ensure your child stays safe while en route from home to school or school to home.
Traveling to and from School:
- Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop.
- Walk the route with your child beforehand.
- Teach them to avoid parks, vacant lots, fields and other places where there may not be many people around.
- Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers.
- Ensure your child walks to and from school with a sibling, friend, or neighbor.
- Use the buddy system.
- Teach your children to obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers.
- Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.
- If your child bikes to school make sure he wears a certified bicycle helmet.
- If your child rides a scooter to school, make sure she wears sturdy shoes, a helmet, kneepads and elbow pads.
- Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street, watch for cars and avoid the driver’s blind spot.
- Remind your children to stay seated at all times and keep their heads and arms inside the bus while riding.
- When exiting the bus, children should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, exit from the front using the handrail to avoid falls and cross the street at least 10 feet (or 10 giant steps) in front of the bus.
- Tell your child not to bend down in front of the bus to tie shoes or pick up objects, as the driver may not see him before starting to move.
- Be sure that your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.