It is that time of year again when many Atlanta parents begin to deal with the hectic nature of back-to-school. This year, there is the added stress of the pandemic with all the myriad of issues. While each year brings new challenges, depending on the age and grade of your children, some things never change. Follow these safety tips to help keep your children safe this school year.
General Back to School Safety Tips
- If your child has an allergy, ensure the teacher and other school officials are aware of those allergies and know what to do in case of an emergency.
- Avoid buying clothing for your children that have drawstrings, which can get caught on outdoor playground equipment.
- As a parent, you expect a few bumps and bruises along the way, especially if your child is in sports. Even so, never ignore a head injury.
- Choose your child’s backpack carefully, ensuring it has an ergonomic design for safety and for comfort. A backpack should weigh no more than 5-10 percent of your child’s weight, so remove any unnecessary items.
- Make sure younger children know their full name, address, and home phone number, as well as where his or her parents work.
- Children should never leave the school premises unattended unless they are older teens.
Transportation Safety Tips
One of the primary things parents must think about is transportation safety, whether their child walks, rides a bicycle, takes the bus, or is taken to school.
Discuss the following transportation safety tips with your children:
- When waiting for the bus, children should stand about six feet back from the curb.
- Make sure your children are clear about the rules on the bus, then go with them to a bus stop to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
- If your children have to cross the street in front of the bus, teach them to walk on the side of the road until they are about ten feet ahead of the bus before they cross—i.e., the bus driver should always be able to see them.
- Make sure your children know to walk on the sidewalk if one is available. If they must walk on a street with no sidewalk, they should walk facing the traffic.
- Practice crossing the street with your children before school starts, emphasizing the “stop, look left, look right, then left again,” sequence prior to crossing.
- Discourage walking with headphones on in order to help children stay alert.
- Teach children to make eye contact with stopped drivers prior to crossing a street, and to always cross at designated crosswalks or intersections.
- The same rules apply to children who ride their bicycles to work as for those who walk, as far as stopping, looking left, right, then left again, and making eye contact with drivers when crossing.
- If you live in a city that has designated bicycle lanes, teach your children to ride in these lanes. Some cities allow bicyclists on sidewalks, while others do not. Otherwise, bicyclists should ride on the ride side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file.
- Bicyclists should always wear helmets and must stay alert.
Driving Your Children to School
- If you drive your children to school, the safety rules apply to you more than your children. Always obey the school zone speed limits.
- Always follow your school’s drop-off procedures.
- Stop far enough back from a school bus to allow safe entry and exits.
- Never, ever pass a stopped bus that is loading or unloading children—not only is it illegal in most states, it’s incredibly dangerous since you cannot see children walking in front of the bus.
And parents—to the extent you are able—get involved with your child’s school so you will know what’s happening and where your children will be on any given day at any time.
Contact Our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers
If your child suffers an injury at school or while walking or biking to school, we are here to help. When someone else’s negligence causes your child an injury, there can – and should – be held accountable. Our lawyers know how to get maximum compensation for our injured clients and their families. We know the trauma and pain you’ve suffered and we want to help you put your lives back together after a serious accident. Let our experienced team of Atlanta personal injury lawyers support you through this difficult time. We will handle the legal burdens, so you can focus on your recovery. Call 404-587-8946 or fill out our confidential contact form. Just call and JUST WIN.