It’s that time of year. Children all over the country are enjoying the crispness of new school supplies and clothing, excited about seeing friends again, and filling the streets with laughter, giggles, and stories of summer’s adventures.
In order to keep them safe along their journey to and from school, these eight simple steps can help to keep the children in your neighborhood safe.
- Abide by speed limits along neighborhood streets and in the immediate vicinity of school buildings. If in doubt, neighborhoods typically have a limit of 25 MPH and streets within several hundred feet of schools usually have a limit of 20 MPH.
- Ensure the safety of your children by arranging for them to walk with friends, at a minimum, and with adults, when available. Safety in numbers!
- Obey traffic signs and signals. A “Stop” sign is not a suggestion, it is a command. Come to a full stop, then look both ways and allow pedestrians to safely cross intersections.
- Teach your children about stranger danger. The rule, “Don’t talk to strangers”, still holds value and can help to save a child’s life.
- Cross the street at marked intersections and stop. Look left, right, then left again to ensure that it is safe before crossing. Never cross the street between cars. It is difficult for drivers to see you, not to mention, it’s impossible for them to know whether or not you will attempt to dart into the street. It takes time for drivers to bring a vehicle to a full stop.
- Don’t talk to strangers. If someone offers you a gift or ride, or asks you to help them find something, yell, “No!”, and run away immediately.
- Wear a bicycle helmet. Many head injuries sustained in biking accidents are preventable. Remember, it’s more important to be safe than it is to look cool.
- Use bicycle reflectors or reflective tape on your clothing if you begin your journey to school before the sun fully rises. It will help drivers spot you in the cover of darkness.
For tips on starting a neighborhood walking or biking group, or to join an existing group, visit http://www.walktoschool.org/. Walk to School Day 2011 is October 5!
Have fun! Get fit! Be Safe!