With summer drawing to a close, many families are preparing themselves and their children for another school year. Some parents regret seeing school start up again as it generally means an end to a more relaxed schedule, where young family members can stay up late and sleep in without worrying about missing the bus or being late for class. Other families welcome the routine of the school year, and look forward to saying goodbye to the added costs of summer camps and full-day sitters. Whichever category you fall in, in addition to making sure they have the clothing and supplies need to head back to school, now is also the time to brush up on safety tips that could help protect them against accident and injuries. School-related accidents can occur at the bus stop or walking to and from school, on the playground, or even while waiting after school for mom and dad to be finished with their work day. Making sure your child is prepared for added duties and responsibilities is the best defense for ensuring their safety.
School Safety Checklist
Getting your children to and from school safely each day is a top priority, whether they ride the bus, walk, or use their bikes. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), school-related injuries are unfortunately common at this time of year, and children need to be aware of the potential risks they face as well as how to avoid them. Parents are advised to discuss safety topics with their children, including backpack and playground safety, the risks of sports-related injuries, as well as injuries due to pedestrian accidents. The NSC’s back to school safety checklist is a valuable resource for parents, and includes the following safety tips to share with your child:
- Review walking safety rules, such as using sidewalks and crosswalks for busy intersections;
- If your child rides their bike to school, make sure they have a properly fitted safety helmet to wear at all times;
- If they take the bus, make sure they wait for it at least three feet from the curb, and make sure the bus driver sees them if they need to cross the street;
- Make sure their backpack is ergonomically designed to prevent muscle strain, and that when packed, it weighs no more than 10 to 20 pounds;
- When playing in playgrounds, make sure the ground covering is a soft surface to protect against injuries from falls;
- If your child plays sports, make sure they use the proper safety equipment, and let their coach know immediately if something does not feel right or they are injured.
After School Safety Tips
In many families, children will be home alone for a few hours until their parents get off work. Prepare your child for this time and protect them against potential injuries by following these after school safety tips from the American Red Cross:
- Make sure your child is responsible enough to be allowed to stay home alone. If they are not, arrange for after school care for them;
- Practice an emergency plan in the event of an accident or fire, and keep safety numbers where your children can easily reach them;
- Store any potentially dangerous items, such as guns, knives, and matches, under lock and key;
- Limit the amount of cooking your child can do, and have ready to eat or microwavable snacks on hand;
- Advise children never to open the door for strangers, and to call 911 if they notice unusual activity.
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you or someone you care about is injured as the result of an accident or due to someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys right away. At Hogan Frick, we provide the caring, comprehensive legal representation you need when injuries occur.