There is little doubt that the very first day of school brings about butterflies within the stomachs of children all over the country. Getting children to their first school day can be just as exciting for parents too. Exciting though it may be, unforeseeable accidents can happen within a moment’s notice. In order to ensure safety for parents, their children and other children, there are tips which should kept in mind.
Seat Belts Must Always Be Worn
All states have laws requiring that all passengers and drivers buckle up. Hefty fines are usually the result of anyone not obeying traffic law. If the seat belt does not fit the child, a belt positioning booster will be necessary until the seat belt is properly fitted. Usually a child fits the seat belt properly when legs bend at the knees, feet are planted firmly on the floor and the back sits snugly into the seat. The lap belt should be able to fasten across the thighs. The lap belt should never rest completely on the stomach. Also, the shoulder belt should go across the shoulder and chest.
Age-Restricted Children to the Back
Children who are under the age of 13 should always be placed in the back of the vehicle. When dealing with more than one child, be sure to push the passenger seat as far back as possible. If the seat belt doesn’t fit properly, use the booster seat for the other child.
Supervise Teen Driving Activity
Sometimes parents don’t ride with their children. When dealing with teenagers, it’s a good rule to remind them of the dangers of not obeying driving instructions. To minimize any crashes, novice teenagers should use seat belts at all times. Distractions such as texting, talking on cellphones, loud music playing, eating food, drinking beverages and cigarette smoking should be avoided.
Too many conversations with other teens can alter driving attention as well and should be minimized.
The amount of teens inside any vehicle should also be set within reasonable limits, especially during inclement weather.
Teens should always be weary of their surroundings watching for other cars, pedestrians and traffic signs.
Your Child and the School Bus
Remind your child to step away from the curb and allow safe distance for the approaching school bus. This also allows the bus driver to see your child from a distance.
Many school buildings have exits located at points which are safe for children to leave and enter. Make sure your child doesn’t deviate from those exit points to the bus or school.
Pedestrians must also be as alert as drivers. Remember to teach your child to always look both ways to see if any automobiles are coming.
Usually bus drivers make sure everyone is seated to avoid any injuries, but just in case, always inform your child to take a seat before the bus moves.
Seat belts lap belts and shoulder belts should be present on school buses. Your child should use any if present like with any other vehicle.
Eating food on the bus can make it unsanitary, cause bug infestations and even create problems for those children who have certain food allergies. Parents should always understand school policy regarding such manners.
If your child has any medical conditions that may become severe. make sure you notify school health personnel or nurse to have a plan readily available.
Biking With Children
Today it is not uncommon for parents, their children or other children to ride bicycles to school during the spring, summer and fall. One of the worse injuries to any bicycler is to the head which can result in fatal cranial damage from brain hemorrhaging. That is why in many states, bicyclers are required to wear helmets to protect them from getting such head injuries just in case of accidents.
When out on the road, always ride on the right hand side with and never against traffic. Always use bike lanes if they are available. To avoid accidents, use visible hand gestures so that drivers understand what you are about to do. And even though it is not a state law, it would still be a good idea to wear bright-colored clothing which improves visibility.
Children Walking to School
If children are old enough to walk to and from school, parents should always make sure they take routes used by other children. Make sure crossing guards are available at intersecting points. When not being driven, children have a tendency to walk with each other. Parents must make sure to memorize faces to become familiar with their children’s friends around the neighborhood. Parents also should become familiar with other parents just in case they walk with their children to avoid any confusion.
Carrying the Load
Not much happens on the first day of school. It is basically orientation for teachers and students getting to know each other. So packing light is okay. However, books, note books and writing materials will still be needed later. This is when careful consideration of choosing a backpack comes in.
Backpacks come in a variety of shapes, colors and brands. To prevent muscle or shoulder strains, never allow your child to sling the backpack over the shoulder. A good backpack should have a padded back with shoulder straps to deal with extra weight. The pack should also be wide.
Items that have the most weight should be placed closest to the back’s center. Don’t exceed more than 30 percent of your child’s body weight when having things placed into the pack. Remove all unnecessary items.
The backpack should sit at the waist line and not on or below the butt.
Rolling backpacks are also available. This backpack type is good for students who have heavier loads to move around. The only drawbacks from using a rolling backpack is it picks up debris from snow and rain. It also must be pulled up stairs because many schools do not have escalators. The rolling backpack is also difficult to place inside small cramped lockers.