Are You Back to School Ready?

By Michael L Robertson CCLS

It’s never too early to begin the yearly tradition of buying back packs, school clothes and juice boxes.​

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​It is also a good time to review important safety issues with your children so they are better prepared for the school year. With a little preparation and planning parents can make school more enjoyable and safe for the whole family.
  • Prepare or review the most direct routes to and from school with the fewest street crossings. Before school starts walk the route with your child. Children should always walk or bike in groups. Teach your child to only cross streets at crosswalks, to look both ways and listen carefully for any approaching cars. Children should use crossing guards whenever possible. Children should travel straight to and from school.

  • Make sure that your children understand why it is important not to talk to, accept gifts or rides from strangers.

  • Helmets should meet safety standards if your child is biking to school. Check the fit and position of the helmet as well. Make sure bikes are in good working order. Children that bike to school should know traffic rules. Teach the importance of walking their bike across streets and use the proper hand signals while riding.

  • Along with a helmet, it is recommended that children wear proper knee, elbow and wrist pads to minimize any injuries that might occur while using scooters and skateboards.

  • Visit the bus stop before school starts to familiarize them with the area. At the bus stop take 5 giant steps back away from the curb for safety. Remind children to remain seated throughout the entire bus ride and to keep their arms and legs inside the bus until the bus stops. If something drops near the bus tell the bus driver. The driver may not be able to see children if they bend over to pick the item up. Do not cross the street directly in front of the bus. Walk out away from the bus before crossing the street.

  • Be sure that your child knows your telephone numbers and address, as well as the number of another trusted adult in case you cannot be reached.

  • Back Packs should be safe and comfortable when worn. A pack back, when full of supplies, should be no more than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s body weight. Children should always use both straps when wearing back packs.

  • Talk to your child about some strategies for coping with bullies. They should not give in to a bully’s demands; instead children should simply walk away or tell the bully to stop. If the bully continues then they should talk with their teacher.