Send Your Kids Back to School Safely

Written By: Dale Orlando

This is an exciting, but also stressful, time for parents. Before your children head back to class, it is imperative that they understand the safety precautions that must be taken while they are not in the care of a parent or other adult.

For most kids, this situation occurs before and after school. Whether they are walking or biking, on the playground with friends, or waiting to get on the school bus, children should always be mindful of their own safety.

Before you send your kids back to school this fall, go over these simple tips with them:

  1. Put your cell phone away. Texting or talking on the phone while walking is a dangerous distraction, as it limits their attention to the traffic around them. According to the National Safety Council, distracted walking incidents involving cell phones caused over 11,000 injuries between 2010-2011.
  2. Always make eye contact with a driver before you cross a road. A stop sign or traffic light does not guarantee that a driver will stop. Make sure that the driver makes eye contact with you or acknowledges that they see you (such as by a hand signal), before you begin walking. (Many of the accident victims a personal injury lawyer in Toronto will see occur when the pedestrian is in the right, but was not seen by a driver.)
  3. If you’re riding a bike to school, ride single file in the same direction as traffic.
  4. Don’t arrive at the bus stop too early. Wait until 5 minutes before your bus is supposed to arrive before going to the side of the road.
  5. Wait until you get home to eat. Do not eat on the bus, or while biking or walking. It’s important to avoid any risk of choking.
  6. Wear brightly coloured clothing. Avoid dark clothes, especially if you are walking or biking during at dawn or dusk. Brightly coloured clothing increases your visibility.
  7. Find a friend to walk or cycle to school with. The more people, the greater the chance that drivers will see you. It also minimizes the chance that strangers will approach you. There is safety in numbers!

Dale Orlando


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