It’s Back-To-School Season: Is Your Child Ready? Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

It’s Back-To-School Season: Is Your Child Ready?

The National Safety Council and First Student are urging parents and motorists to be aware of these back-to-school safety risks.

The back-to-school season is a time that can be stressful for both parents and students. For this reason, the National Safety Council (NSC) has partnered with First Student to offer school safety tips.

“We are pleased to once again to partner with the National Safety Council to highlight back to school safety,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student, the largest provider of student transportation services in North America. “Getting students to and from school safely is a top priority for parents and caregivers. The safety information provided during this campaign allows students, parents and motorists to see the critical role they play in the process.”

School safety covers a variety of topics, such as school buses, backpacks, playgrounds and more. By following these simple back-to-school tips, children can be better prepared as the school year begins:

  • Look for a backpack with multiple compartments and padding to evenly distribute weight on your child’s back.
  • Encourage your child to play on soft surfaces during recess.
  • Educate your child on how to be a good passenger on a school bus – including clearing aisles and staying seated.
  • When the school bus arrives, have your kids stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb.
  • Children should always walk on the sidewalk if available; if not, have them walk facing traffic.

“Starting a new school year is an exciting milestone for families across the nation,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO. “Sadly, this time of the year also brings new risks that parents and children should discuss. Nothing is more important than the safety of your children, so talking about these issues as a family is a first step in prevention.”

All motorists also need to be aware of the sudden change in the number of children walking to and from the bus stop and school in the morning and afternoon with school back in session. Tips for motorist include:

  • Exercise extra caution as sun glare can be a factor during these times.
  • Come to a complete stop at a safe distance from the bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop sign arm is extended. This indicates the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus; it is illegal in all 50 states.
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