It's that time of year!
With most schools not using lockers this year, children will depend on their backpack more than ever. Choose a backpack for your child carefully; it should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort. Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to distribute the weight on their shoulders evenly. Don't overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 5% to 10% of your child's body weight. Rolling backpacks may create a trip hazard in crowded school hallways, so consider if that type is appropriate.
If your children are walking, riding their bicycle, or taking the bus to school, they must take proper safety precautions. Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
More children are hit by cars near schools than any other location. Always obey the speed limit in school zones. Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks.
Action Steps You Can Take
Walking to School
- Walk to school with a group of kids and always have a responsible adult with you.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk facing the traffic.
- The safest place to cross is at a street corner or intersection.
- Before you step off the curb to cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
- When no cars are coming, it is safe for you and an adult to cross. Look left-right-left as you do it, and hold the adult’s hand.
- Don’t dart out in front of a parked car. The driver of the car will not be able to see you.
Riding to School
- You should not ride in traffic without an adult.
- Ride on the right side of the road or trail in a single file line in the same direction as other vehicles and come to a complete stop before crossing streets.
- Wait for a driver’s signal before crossing the street.
- When you ride your bicycle, wear bright colors during the day and right before the sun rises or sets.
- Make sure that your helmet fits correctly. The helmet should fit low on your forehead so that two fingers fit between it and your eyebrows. Another way to check is to put the helmet on your head and look up. If you can’t see your helmet, it is too far back.
You can download and print this Back to School Safety flyer.