Back to School Safety

August is Back-To-School Safety Month

Back to school means more kids are back on the streets. Parents and kids both need to remember how to stay safe during this busy time of year. Accidents can be prevented if parents are on the lookout for potential hazards. To help you keep your kids free from harm, here are some safety tips from the Cosumnes Fire Department and SAFE KIDS Worldwide.

Traveling to and from School

Parents: slow down and be alert in residential areas and near schools. Be especially watchful of kids in rural areas without sidewalks.

Take the Back-to-School Safety Pledge (found at “I pledge to eliminate distractions while I drive, especially in school zones.”

Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.

Children 10 and under should not cross streets unsupervised. Review the safety guidelines with them: Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. Walk, do not run, across the street.

Children that ride a bike or scooter should always wear a helmet. If your child rides a scooter to school make sure they have sturdy shoes, a helmet, kneepads and elbow pads.

Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street, watch for cars and avoid the driver’s blind spot.

Be sure that your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.

On the Playground

Check the playground equipment at your child’s school. Look for hazards such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. The surface around the equipment should be covered with wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury when a child falls. Report any hazards to the school.

Avoid any drawstrings on the hood or around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts. Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should extend no more than three inches long to prevent catching in car and school bus doors or getting caught on playground equipment.

Teach children proper playground behavior: no pushing, shoving, or crowding.

Make sure your child’s school has up-to-date information on recalled toys and children’s products. Schools, daycare providers and parents can receive recall information by fax, email, or in the regular mail free of charge by calling the Consumer Product Safety Commission hotline at 800-638-2772, or visiting the organization’s web site.