As the back to school season approaches, it’s a good time to make sure your kids know how to stay safe traveling to and from school.
Whether you drive your kids to school, have them ride the bus or live close enough that they can get to school on their own, we know every parent wants their children to be safe. Our team at Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. put together a few important safety tips to help you prepare for the coming school year.
Wait until your kids are mature and confident enough to travel without an adult
It’s also important to check local laws, take your children’s maturity level into consideration, and practice with shorter, independent outings before allowing them to head to school without an adult. Any kids traveling to and from school alone should have an emergency phone number and their address memorized.
Once you feel your child is ready, travel the route with them until they’re comfortable doing it alone. While you’re practicing the route, review basic safety tips.
If your kids have a cell phone, ask them to text you when they leave school so you know they’re on their way home.
Consider installing a smart lock and video doorbell
Smart locks and video doorbells can come in handy in many situations, but they’re especially useful if your kids get home before you do. With a smart lock, your kids won’t have to worry about losing a physical key. Plus, many smart locks will lock automatically after your kids have gone inside and closed the door. And with a video doorbell, you can see your kids when they get home and confirm they make it safely each day.
Take extra precautions around the house if your kids will be there alone for a bit
Some kids are old enough to be alone at home after school, but it’s smart to take some extra safety measures. Make sure your kids know where to find a first aid kit and lock up dangerous items like firearms, cleaning supplies and tools. You may also want to install motion sensor cameras in potentially dangerous areas like the garage, workshop, or storage room so you get a notification if someone goes in.
Walking safety tips
- Choose a route with sidewalks and well-lit crosswalks. Whenever possible, make sure intersections have traffic signals or a crossing guard.
- Walk the route with your kids a few times before school starts so they know the route well.
- Put something reflective on their backpack so they’re easier for drivers to spot.
- Teach your kids not to accept rides from strangers.
- When possible, have them walk with others.
- Teach them not to look at their phone while crossing street.
- If they wear headphones while walking, teach them to keep the volume low enough to hear their surroundings.
Biking safety tips
- Insist that your kids wear a helmet before they bike to and from school.
- Make sure the bike has reflectors and put something reflective on their backpack for extra visibility.
- Teach your children about traffic signals, rules and cyclist hand signs.
- Make sure your kids are wearing good shoes that can’t get easily caught in bike gears or wheels.
- Provide your kids with a sturdy bike lock so they can lock the bike up at school.
Riding public transit or the school bus safety tips
- When they get off the bus, teach your kids to walk a few feet ahead and make eye contact with bus driver before crossing in front of the bus.
- Pay attention to signals from bus driver.
- Teach them to wait at least three feet away from the curb.
Driving safety tips
- Insist that anyone in the car wears a seat belt.
- Make sure they’re familiar with the route.
- Teach good driving habits and set a good example yourself: no distracted driving such as cell phone use, eating, drinking or applying makeup.
- Limit passengers when they’re young inexperienced drivers. You should also check local laws for teen drivers.