School is almost back in session, which makes it the perfect time to talk to your child about school safety. So, break out the PowerPoints and old slideshows from the sixties with the catchy music. Your child may be horrified, but they’ll never forget it.
Of course, you could always skip the slide show, and go over a few simple rules with them that are easy to remember, and will stick with them. School safety rules don’t have to be daunting or stressful, but they are very important. That being said, here are some basic rules to get your child to and from school safely.
The most important thing your child needs to realize is that getting on and off the bus is when they really need to pay attention. According to the NHTSA, “The greatest risk to a child isn’t riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one.”
- Get to the bus stop early. If you’re running to the bus, you probably aren’t paying attention to traffic.
- Stay at least five steps away from the curb.
- Always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver tells you it’s OK to board.
- Cross in front of the bus so that the driver can see you at all times.
- Face forward once you sit down. Your friends sitting behind you may be doing something really cool on their tablet, but they can always show you later.
- Don’t jump up as soon as you feel the bus slow down. Wait until it comes to a complete stop, and the driver tells you it’s OK to stand.
- Exit the bus when it stops. Look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street.
- Listen for oncoming cars that may be approaching as you walk across the road.
If your school is close enough, you might decide to let your child walk to school, weather permitting. Your child may feel like an adult if they’re doing it on their own, but this doesn’t mean they can forget the rules.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to leave. Try to be in your class 10 minutes before the school day begins.
- Always use the same route. This means no shortcuts.
- Walk with friends if someone else walks to school.
- Don’t walk on the road. Either use the sidewalk or walk in the grass.
- If you have to cross the road, do so in a designated walkway.
- Go straight to school, and return straight home.
- Don’t approach vehicles, even if someone calls you over. If someone tries to approach you, contact your parent or teacher to report this event.
- If someone you don’t know approaches you as you walk to school, keep distance between yourself and them. Call your parent or teacher to report it.
Riding a bike is a great form of exercise, especially when the weather is pretty. That being said, there are a few rules your child should follow. Try practicing them with your child so they are familiar with them on their first day of school.
- Ride with traffic.
- If you’re with friends, ride single file.
- When you get ready to cross the street, stop. Dismount, and walk your bike across the road.
- Stay alert. Listening to music is great, but you can do that when you get home.
- Wear your safety helmet and pads.
- Wear bright clothing, especially when the sun is rising or setting. This will ensure drivers see you.
Whether you are driving your child to school or just happen to be on the road with the buses, it’s important to keep focused. You probably feel safest with your child in your own care, but there are still risks, not only to your child, but to other kids on the road.
Sharing the Road With Bicyclists
- Drive past a bicyclist slowly.
- Leave at least 3 ft between you and the bicycle.
- Watch for bicycles turning onto the road with you or coming out of driveways
- Don’t assume that bicyclists will give a turn signal. If you’re approaching an intersection, slow down and see what they’re going to do.
- If you’re going to make a right turn and there is a bicyclist beside of you, come to complete stop and let them proceed before turning.
- If you are turning left, and a bicycle is approaching, allow them to get through the intersection.
- Always use your turn signals.
Sharing the Road With Buses
- Never pass a stopped bus that is loading or unloading children.
- Keep an eye out for kids. You never know what they’re going to do.
- If the yellow or red lights are flashing, you need to be prepared to stop.
- Don’t ride the bus bumper. Stay at least 10 feet back.
Sharing the Road With Walkers
- Don’t stop over the crosswalk. Stop a few feet back, so pedestrians can cross without being forced into traffic.
- Don’t honk, yell, or rev your engine at pedestrians if they aren’t moving fast enough, especially if it’s a child. You don’t know how they’ll react.
- If a school patrol officer or school personnel is guiding traffic across the road, listen to their instructions.
- If you’re entering a school zone, and there are yellow lights flashing at the crosswalk, stop and let pedestrians get across safely.
- Be extra vigilant when going past parks, schools, or crosswalks. Kids may not always pay attention to who has the right away, so don’t assume they’re going to stop.
School Safety and Security
You can’t always be there to protect your child. That can be a scary thing, but it doesn’t have to be. A school security guard can look out for your child while they’re on school premises.
Whether it’s helping them cross the road safely or being on the lookout for threats on school property, a security guard will be there when you can’t. They’re trained to be on the lookout for anything that might bring harm to you or your child.
Here at Smart Security Pros our officers are highly trained, and better yet, affordable. We take safety seriously and hire only the best. Contact us today for a free quote on how we can help keep your school safe.