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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to School Safety Tips

With kids going back to school, I thought I’d share a few safety tips to keep your child safe on their way to school. Many children walk to school and there are plenty of hazards between home and school.

Here are some safety tips:

- If walking to school for the first time, walk the route with your child to check for any dangers/hazards along the way. Check to see if there are crossing guards at the intersections and check out the traffic patterns.

- Instruct your child to stay on the sidewalk and not take shortcuts, such as alleys, wooded areas or other out-of-the-way locations.

- If your child rides a bike to school, make sure they have a helmet and other protective gear. Instruct them on proper safety rules of the road.

- If your child carries a backpack, make sure it is not too heavy. Overloaded backpacks can cause back pain in your child. Make sure your child uses both straps to help distribute the weight of the backpack. Use the waist strap if there is one.

If your child rides the bus, make sure they know how to behave properly.

- Tell them to stay seated during the ride and to not horse around.

- Remind them to talk in a normal tone and not yell since it can distract the bus driver.

- Obviously, they should get along with the other kids on the bus and not cause trouble. Encourage your child to tell you if they are having trouble with anyone on the bus.

- If you take your child to school in a car or if they are riding with anyone else, make sure they (and you) are buckled up properly in a seat belt.

For other back to school issues, check out these links:

Backpacks (Nemours Foundation)

Preparing for a New School Year (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Back to School Tips (American Academy of Pediatrics)

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