It’s almost that time of year again – Back to School! Parents everywhere rejoice as kids grumble about the end of summer. As the school year kicks off, we have some tips to make sure that everyone enjoys a safe and happy end to summer.
Drivers and Buses - Make sure children know how to behave safely around buses – they should keep back from the curb while waiting, remain at least 10 feet in front of the bus if crossing the street, and never walk behind the bus. Drivers should be extra vigilant about looking for traffic and pedestrians when driving in the morning or early afternoon while school is in session – children are unpredictable and can be easily missed by oblivious drivers.
Backpacks - Each year, overweight backpacks cause up to thousands of injuries to children, ranging from bruises to sprains and even fractures. Selecting a good backpack – one that has padding in the back and is size appropriate for your child – can reduce some of these risks. Encourage your child to always use both straps in order to make sure weight is distributed evenly. Additionally, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, backpacks for school should be no heavier than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s bodyweight; be sure that items unnecessary for school stay home in order to lessen the load.
Playgrounds - You may not be able to control the selection or condition of school playground equipment, but you can be sure your children know how to play safely on the playground. Swings should be given a wide berth to ensure that children are not accidently hit by moving parts or knocked off of the seat; when climbing, three points of contact with the ladder or equipment should be maintained – two feet and a hand, for example. Also be sure that your child wears appropriate sneakers and clothing that is free of drawstrings, which can become caught in slides and other equipment. If you do think there may be a problem with the playground equipment, be sure to notify the school or other owner of the property so they can fix the problem and your children and their friends can play more safely.
Though perhaps not everyone will be thrilled by the prospect of school starting again, following our Back to School Safety tips will help ensure that the kick off to the school year is no more painful than it has to be.
The Miley Legal Group wishes you a happy and safe school year!
Information courtesy of the National Safety Council website at www.nsc.org.