UH News

Keep Kids Safe as They Head Back to School

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland provide tips for back to school safety

Back to school is a busy time for families. Between school supplies, new clothes and sports tryouts, parents may not think to talk to their kids about safety issues. During back to school time, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospitals, as lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Cleveland, wants to remind drivers, parents and kids to be extra careful when on the roads.

“Parents should be proactive and take the time to talk about safety with their kids before they head back to school,” said Mandy Nagle, Safe Kids Greater Cleveland Coordinator at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “If kids will be walking to or from school, we suggest that parents walk the route to school with students before the start of the year to assess dangers and select a course with the least number of traffic crossings.”

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland recommend the following tips for parents, kids and drivers as school kicks off:

  1. Parents need to model and teach safe behaviors for walking to school. Parents are the biggest influence in a child’s life. Make sure to reinforce safe behaviors for walking, such as crossing the street at corners and crosswalks, looking left, right and left again before crossing and walking on sidewalks or paths.
  2. Walk with kids to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
  3. Remind children of the rules when riding their bikes. Check with kids to make sure they remember proper bike safety behaviors, like always wearing their helmets. Make sure the school allows for bike riders and ask where kids need to lock their bikes during school hours. Scout out the school parking lot and make sure kids know what path to take to stay away from pick up and drop off traffic.
  4. Make sure your carpool is safe. Carpooling is a great way to save time for busy families. Make sure each child in the carpool has a car seat, booster seat or safety belt, based on individual age, weight and height. If you’re not sure your kids will be secured safely in another vehicle, find an alternate way for your child to get to and from school. Always insist that every child in your car buckles up on every ride.
  5. Drivers need to remember that school is back in session. We want to remind drivers to slow down in residential areas, especially school zones. Reduce any distractions inside the car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Remember that children may move in unpredictable ways, so watch carefully for children on or near the road in the morning and after school hours.

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