The start of the school year is rapidly approaching, and so is the time to review safety tactics with your children who may be either walking to school or riding the school bus. Develop a guideline checklist to review and help your children develop safe habits at this important stage in their lives.

Here are some tips that can help your children stay safe while traveling before and after the school day:

1.      Create a safe walking route with your child: Plan a path that your child can take to school that is the most direct way to reach their school, and be sure to practice walking the route with your children beforehand. Children should never be walking alone, and should avoid speaking to strangers.

2.      Remind children to obey all traffic signs and personnel: Explain how important it is follow the rules of the road, especially as a pedestrian. Crossing guards are there to monitor everyone’s safety, so your children should look to them for guidance if they are unsure in a situation.

3.      Tell children to remain seated while riding the bus: To avoid injury or accidents while riding the school bus, children should stay seated and keep limbs out of the windows. Children should wait to move until the bus has come to a complete stop. They should also avoid blind spots while boarding the bus — always cross at least 10 feet in front of the vehicle and NEVER behind. Practice the correct way to board and exit the bus with your child.

4.      Teach your child their contact information: Make sure that your children have their address and phone number memorized, as well as your work number or the number of a trusted adult. Also, teach them how to dial 911 in the case of an emergency.

5.      Demonstrate proper street-crossing etiquette: Before stepping off a curb, have all pedestrians, especially children, look in all directions before crossing the street. Looking left-right-left is always beneficial. Children should also never run in front of a parked car because the driver will not be able to see them.

Start the school year off safely for you and your family. These steps will help ensure that the children in your life are remaining safe and developing life-long habits. Take the opportunity to review all of these tips with your loved ones and make it a tradition to do so at the beginning of every school year. 

As a reminder for everyone to Yield to Pedestrians — get your own Hupy and Abraham, S.C. bumper sticker here.