It’s that time again! Backpacks are stuffed with the coolest school supplies. Hair has been meticulously flattened, curled, or wrapped up. Stay-at-home parents are breathing a sigh of relief. (And, maybe pouring themselves a nice cup of coffee to be savored in the morning quiet. I’m not judging; they’ve earned it.) It’s back to school season and there’s something that may have gotten lost in all the running around.
There’s an uptick in road and foot traffic in nearly every neighborhood during this time that can lead to disaster. Both adults and kids alike can help prevent disaster by following a few simple guidelines. We’ve broken down a few reminders to help keep everyone safe while school is in session.
4 Safety Tips for Adults
Whether you’re a parent or not, school time changes the way you travel. Keep these four tips in mind when you’re transitioning your morning and evening routine.
- Watch Out for School Zones – School zones are essential to keeping children safe as they enter and leave school. Follow posted speed limits, always stop for school buses, and never pass another vehicle in a school zone.
- Pay Attention – Keep your eyes and ears open at all times on the road. That text can wait and you can sit through a few minutes of commercials on the radio. Be sure to also pay attention to the markings on the road. Never block intersections or crosswalks and always obey road signs.
- Follow School Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedures – Every school has a different routine and it is important parents and children know it inside and out. Most schools offer an orientation before school starts where they will go over the procedure with you to make sure everyone is informed. If you’re not sure, go slow and follow the flow of traffic. If you’re not in the right place, someone will let you know!
- Slow Down to Get Around – Trash collection starts early each morning and that doesn’t change when school is in session. Slow down when you see one of our trucks stopped and make sure we’re not walking to or from a bin before you go around us. Check out Solid Waste Association of North American’s Slow Down to Get Around campaign for more information.
4 Safety Tips for Children
The start of the school year can be hard to get used to for kids just like it is for parents. The four tips below are broken down by the typical routes children take to school. Share these with your children, nieces and nephew, grandkids, or any other children you think could benefit so they can keep safe during the change in their routines.
- Know Your Route – Starting school is a busy time and sometimes it means learning a new routine. Go over the route you’ll be taking to and from school with your parents until you feel comfortable. No matter how you’re getting there, listen to crossing guards and teachers. Their jobs are to keep you safe at all times.
- Car Riders – Be sure you know where and when you will be picked up and dropped off if you’re parents drive you every day. Keep an eye out for teachers and listen to their instructions.
- Walkers – Keep yourself out of dangerous situations by sticking to your route and avoiding unknown shortcuts. Walking with a buddy and staying away from strangers are always good rules to follow, but they are especially important during the school year. Go over a plan with your parents so you know what to do if you find yourself lost or someone is making you uncomfortable. Never jaywalk and don’t let yourself become distracted. That text and Fortnight will still be there when you step inside your house.
- Bike Riders – Riding your bike may be faster than walking home, but it comes with its own dangers. Keep informed on traffic laws for bike riding in your area and obey all signs and signals. Be aware of your surroundings and remember to watch out for vehicle blind spots. Just because you can see them, that doesn’t mean they can see you. Keep that helmet strapped tight!
Some of these sound like no-brainers, but they can slip away from us without practice. Summertime means less travel time and less crowded areas so our normal safety measures tend to slide down our importance meter. Not to sound dramatic, but taking a few seconds to go back over these tips can be the difference between safety and tragedy.
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