As kids head back to school, it pays to keep in mind some general safety precautions. While hazards are an inherent part of life, following common sense measures can often prevent injuries. Here are some guidelines that don’t get as much attention as they warrant.
- Make sure backpacks aren’t so heavy that they strain your child’s back, resulting in pain and poor posture. The National Safety Council recommends an ergonomic design with a width narrower than a child’s torso and shorter than four inches below the waist.
- Even if your kids bike just one or two blocks to school, equip them appropriately. Children who ride a bicycle to school should wear a properly fitted and secured helmet.
- Vehicle accidents involving teens increase in September and occur more frequently when the school day begins and ends. Parents can help keep their kids safe by setting rules involving no cell phone use when driving as well as no driving without a seatbelt.
- SafeKids.org reports the tragic statistic that vehicles hit 44 kids in the U.S. every day. Remind your children to not text or talk on the phone while walking. They should stop on the sidewalk instead.
- School-related head injuries are far more common than many parents realize. Both girls and boys are in danger of acquiring concussions when participating in school sports. To lessen the risk, discourage a win-at-all-cost mentality.
- Bus stops can be surprisingly hazardous, especially in early fall when frost coats the road and makes it harder for cars to brake. When waiting for a bus, children should avoid roughhousing or engaging in behavior that cause them to stray into the street.
For more information, see School Safety Tips for Parents.
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