Safety tips for going to school
At some point, your child will be a pedestrian. Make sure they know the basics, even if they’re riding the bus or getting a ride from a caretaker.
1. Stick together
Stay with a group of kids whenever possible.
2. Be visible
Walk on a sidewalk when one is available or walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk. Wear bright-colored clothing to be more visible to cars.
3. Don’t do it alone
Children younger than 9 years old should always cross the street with an adult. Make sure your child understands the safest place to cross is at a crosswalk, street corner, or intersection. Make sure they know to never jaywalk across the street.
4. Choose the safe route
Choose the safest way possible. Consider risky spots like train tracks and busy intersections.
5. Know where to go
Identify safe houses along your child’s walking route. Point out homes of family friends where they can stop for help in case of trouble. Make sure these are people who know your child considers their home a safe place to go. And make sure to choose people who are home during the times your child will be walking by.
6. Discuss stranger danger
Make sure your child knows how to respond to strangers who they might encounter on their route.
7. Go over phone numbers they need to know
If your child carries a phone, make sure they know how to dial for emergency help. Numbers to include on speed dial include the local emergency dispatch, your phone number, relatives and friends numbers, and anyone else who could help your child in an emergency if the need arises.
8. Prepare for all seasons
Teach your child about special seasonal hazards. When dealing with snow-clearing vehicles, make sure your child knows to stand back until the snowplow or vehicle has gone by. Make sure your child understands that it is never safe to cross or play on stormwater drains.
9. Be sure they aren’t overwhelmed
Check your child’s backpack weight to make sure they don’t strain their backs or lose their balance.
10. Check in often
Ask your kids questions about their bus rides, walks, or rides to school (in addition to coursework or their friendships) so you can spot problems early.