Written By: Patrick Brown
With September fast approaching, it is almost time for students here in Toronto and across the country to head back to school. This time of year makes parents and personal injury lawyers nervous; the change of season requires some additional precautions to keep children safe.
Here are some things for parents to consider before sending their kids back to school this fall:
- If dropping your child off at school, be aware of school rules regarding drop-off. Ensure that all young passengers are safely out of the car and inside the building before you leave.
- If your children will be walking, choose the safest route between home and school. Practice walking it with them until they demonstrate traffic safety and awareness.
- Choose a route with trained, adult crossing guards at every intersection, if possible.
- Use public sidewalks and streets when walking. Cutting through alleyways or down less travelled paths can be unwise. Teach them to take the same route every day and avoid shortcuts.
- Do not let young children walk or bike to school if you are not confident in their pedestrian or pedalling skills.
- If you are not supervising, find another child with whom yours can walk or bike to school.
- Ensure your child’s backpack is well padded with wide shoulder straps and that it is no heavier than 10-20% of the child’s body weight.
- Make sure your child knows to look both ways before crossing the street to get on the bus because, unfortunately, traffic does not always stop for the flashing lights.
- Teach children about strangers and the warning signs of suspicious behaviour.