Keeping Kids Safe on their Way to School
Now that schools are back in session in South Florida, here’s what you need to know about safety for your kids on the road.
Much of the concern regarding school safety remains on the roadway, where most dangers exist. Kids are either walking to school, taking a school bus or getting there by car.
In each case, it’s important that kids and teens, as well as parents, stay vigilant.
In the car
Studies show that most traffic accidents occur within five miles of your home. Seat belts are essential, whether sitting in the front or the back. Seat belts reduce the risk of injury by 45 percent.
If you’re part of a carpool, make sure all kids are secured and coordinate with other parents the rules of the drive to and from school. Knowledge and planning are essential to reduing problems and staying safe.
On the bus
Kids need to know the protocol for riding on a bus. Proper behavior will reduce distractions for bus drivers.
Bus Tips for Kids
- Walk to the bus stop, never run
- Walk on the sidewalk
- Get to the bus stop five minutes before the bus is slated to arrive
- Get to know your bus drivers. Parents should introduce their kids to the drive and feel safe with them.
- Always remain seated on the bus.
- Never throw things on the bus or out the windows.
- Keep the aisles clear
- No fighting, jostling or picking on other kids.
- Report problems
- Respect the Danger Zones: The “Danger Zone” is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the “Danger Zone” and where the driver can see you.
- Always cross the street in front of the bus, never from behind.
- Never speak to strangers on the way to the bus stop or on the way back. Always report problems to parents and/or guardians.
Bus Tips for Parents
- Walk your kids to the bus stop or have them walk in a group.
- Show them good pedestrian behavior.
- Ensure they wait by standing 10 feet from the road. Show them exactly what to do and what not to do.
- Introduce your kids to their driver and make sure they don’t speak too softly in school.
- Teach them to walk in front of the bus at all times.
- If they drop something, make sure they alert the driver. They should never run in the middle of a street to pick something up.
- Make sure they leave home with all their laces tied and wayward strings tucked into their pockets.
Best of luck and may you and your kids have a safe and successful school year.