August is back-to-school month for many kids, and that means parents everywhere will be getting their kids prepared.
As you craft your “to-do” list for the upcoming school year, don’t forget to add one more thing: Give the kids their annual reminder about pedestrian safety.
Does your child walk to school? Here are some essential tips for you and your child:
- Whenever possible, kids should walk with a friend or a group. Drivers can more easily spot a pack of children than one who’s walking solo.
- Use the available sidewalks. Ideally, you should plan out your child’s route and walk it together a few times so you can spot any problem areas and try to find a way around them.
- When sidewalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic. Make sure that your child has reflective material on their jackets and backpacks so they can be seen, and explain the importance of staying focused and alert (instead of distracted by their phones) while en route to school.
- Use crosswalks. Even though there should be crossing guards near the school, teach your child to look both ways before they attempt to cross the street – no matter what.
If your child takes the bus, make sure that they remember the following rules before they get on and after they get off:
- Stay away from the curb or inside the bus stop until the school bus comes to a full stop and opens its doors.
- When exiting the bus, cross the street only after looking left-right-left to look for moving vehicles.
- Never walk behind a bus. Make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front.
Finally, make sure that your child understands that it’s better to be late to class – and that you won’t be mad – than to rush and take chances in traffic.
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent every accident. If your child is injured by a negligent driver, find out what it takes to hold that driver accountable.