Research shows that an estimated 2.2 million children age 14 and under are injured in school-related accidents each year, according to the National SAFE Kids Campaign. Accidents can be prevented if teachers, parents, and children are on the lookout for potential hazards. To help keep children safe from harm, here are some safety tips from SAFE Kids, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If children are walking to the bus stop…
- Choose the most direct route, with as few street crossings as possible.
- Walk the route beforehand; stay away from vacant lots, parks, fields, and other places where there aren’t many people around.
- Teach children to obey all traffic signals, traffic signs, and traffic officers.
- Be sure children are walking with a friend or trusted adult, and remind children to never talk to strangers. A stranger is anyone that children do not know and trust.
Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, and wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the bus. Remind children to stay seated at all
- times – whether riding the public school bus or the Childcare Network bus – and to keep their head and hands inside the windows at all times. Tell children not to bend down to tie shoes or to pick something up from the ground near the bus – the driver may not be able to see them.
On the playground…
- Teachers and parents should both inspect the playground – at one’s public school and Childcare Network – for possible playground hazards.
- The surface around the equipment should be covered with mulch, sand, or mats made of safety-tested rubber to prevent head injuries when children fall.
- Be sure children are dressed safely and seasonally-appropriately; avoid drawstrings on hoods and waistbands.
- Teach children safe playground behaviors: No pushing, shoving, or crowding. Also, be sure to give children strategies for coping with bullies. Tell them to simply walk away or tell the bully to stop, then alert a teacher.
In case of an emergency…
- Be sure that children know their home phone number and address, parents’ work number, and the name and number of another trusted adult they can call upon for help.
- Also make sure that the public school and Childcare Network has up-to-date information on how to reach all parents and emergency contacts, as well as current medical information and releases.
*From “Back To School Safety Tips,” at http://www.rd.com/family/back-to-school-safety-tips/