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25 Back to School Safety Tips

Sep 02, 2021|

Summer is winding down, and for parents and kids all over the country, that means one thing—it’s back to school time.

As you prepare your to-do list for the new school year, don’t forget to discuss these important back-to-school safety tips with your kids to keep everyone safe on the way to and from school.

kids boarding school bus
Keep reading for our list of back to school safety tips.

Safety getting to school

Whether your kids walk, bike, take the bus, or get a ride from Mom or Dad, it’s important to know these tips to keep them safe.

School zone driving safety tips

  1. When driving kids to school, always obey school zone speed limits, paying close attention to where they begin and end.
  2. Be aware of crosswalks and obey crossing guards.
  3. Brush up on your state’s laws regarding school buses. For example, in all states but Washington, all drivers must stop for a bus loading or unloading children, whether they are behind the bus or driving towards it.
  4. Over 25,000 children are injured in school zones each year. Stay focused while driving in a school zone. Don’t text, adjust your music, or look at your phone.
  5. For teen drivers, car accidents are the #1 cause of death for teenagers. If you have teens driving to school, consider installing a car guard to help them be aware of and monitor their speed.

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Safety tips riding your bike

  1. Before letting your child ride their bike to school, make sure they are both skilled and mature enough to do so safely.
  2. Make sure your child wears a helmet at all times when biking to and from school. Helmets reduce the likelihood of serious injury by 60%, and they’re also required by law in many states.
  3. Quiz your child on the rules of the road before allowing them to ride to school. For example, make sure they know hand signals, rules of the road, and which direction of the road to ride on.
  4. Before school starts, practice the safest route to and from school with your kids until they are comfortable with it. It’s also a good idea to ride behind them and observe to make sure they can handle the ride safely.
  5. Make a “no phone” rule while riding their bikes so your kids aren’t distracted by their phones while riding to and from school. However, they should have a phone or the ability to contact a parent or adult in an emergency.
kids riding bikes with backpacks on
Show your kids where they can lock up their bike at the school.

Safety tips walking to and from school

  1. Choose the safest route to and from school, and practice walking it with your child. Teach them to use this route every day and not take any shortcuts.
  2. Teach your kids what each traffic sign and signal means and which side of the street to walk on. If the route does not have crossing guards, make sure they know to cross at crosswalks only.
  3. Remind your kids of stranger danger. Walking home from school presents opportunities for predators to approach children unsupervised. In fact, 38% of attempted abductions occur when a child is walking or riding a bike to and from school. Teach them never to stop and talk to a stranger or approach a car.
  4. If possible, see if there are other kids in the neighborhood walking to school, and have your kids walk with them. It’s safer to travel in a group.
  5. Get your child a reflective jacket or backpack so they are easier for drivers to spot. This is especially important during months with shorter amounts of daylight.

Safety at school

Once they arrive at school, there are steps kids and parents can take to ensure they remain safe at school, including these school safety tips:

  1. Most kids have backpacks, but improperly balanced or overloaded backpacks can cause back, neck, and shoulder injuries. Choose backpacks with two wide, padded straps.
  2. Avoid overloading backpacks. As a general rule, backpacks shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of your child’s weight.
  3. For younger children who spend time on the playground at recess, choose clothing and jackets for them that don’t have drawstrings and cords that could catch on equipment and lead to strangulation.
  4. When associating with peers, make sure your kids know to report dangerous items to their teachers or school staff. This includes guns, drugs, and other weapons or unsafe items.
  5. For kids who are still attending school remotely, a few simple steps can protect your kids from hackers and potential online predators. Keep your computer’s security up to date by installing software updates as needed, using a firewall, and installing parental controls. Additionally, make sure children know to never give out personal information to people online.
girl in backpack holding hands with mom
Find a backpack your kid will love.

Coming home from school safety tips

According to the most recent data, over 11 million children come home to an empty house after school. Help keep your kids safe with these after-school safety tips:

  1. Only three states have laws regarding what age a child can be left home alone. Part of this is due to the fact that children mature at different rates. Make sure your child is responsible and mature enough to be trusted home alone after school, even if just for an hour or two.
  2. If your children are coming home from school when a parent or adult isn’t home, make sure you have a clear set of rules for them to follow to keep them safe. This can include calling to check in with a parent when they get home, not answering the door while home alone, or not allowing kids to use appliances that could cause a fire, like stoves.
  3. Consider installing smart locks. A smart lock eliminates the need for physical keys, so you don’t have to worry about lost or hidden keys. Instead, your child can enter their own code into the keypad to unlock the door. A parent can also unlock the door from their smart phone.
  4. Security cameras can be a great investment to help you keep an eye on kids after school. Indoor cameras that have two-way talk and one-touch callout features are particularly useful, providing a way for you to keep an eye on your kids while also being able to communicate with each other.
  5. A video doorbell can help put you and your kids at ease while coming home from school. These security cameras capture your front porch area, so you know exactly who’s coming and going. You can also answer your door remotely, so if someone does come to the door, they won’t know that a parent isn’t home.

Back to school is an exciting time for kids and parents alike. By following these back to school safety tips, you can help ensure you and your kids have a safe school experience.

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