Bike, walk, bus, drive: safety first!
It’s almost here! The school year is approaching fast and with so much to get ready it’s important to remember: safety first. School will look different for everyone this year with some schools adopting different schedules that switch between online and in-person classes. No matter what school looks like for your child this year, as a parent you can do your best to keep them safe.
The most hazardous parts of the school day are actually at the beginning and the end: the commute to and from school. Whether your student is driving, biking, busing, or walking, travelling to and from school presents many potentially dangerous situations.
For children using the bus, going to and from the bus stop as well as boarding the bus can be difficult. If your child is riding the bus teach them the acronym SAFE:
- Stay five steps away from the curb
- Always wait until the bus is completely stopped to approach
- Face forward in your seat on the bus
- Exit the bus after it is stopped and look left-right-left for cars before crossing the street.
When possible, walk your child to the bus stop and meet them there at the end of the day.
Make sure children that are biking have and wear a helmet that fits correctly before sending them on their way. Additionally, make sure to teach them about obeying traffic laws, correct signaling, and using bike lanes. It is very helpful to do a few practice rides with your child before school starts so that they know the route well. If you need a helmet and cannot afford one, please go to sklarimer.org/bicyclesafety/ and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
Most likely your child will be a pedestrian at some point in the day. Whether at the bus stop, in the carpool line, at lunch, or even just to and from the car, sidewalk safety will be necessary. When walking, children should use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is not a sidewalk available, they should walk on the edge of the street facing traffic. Teach children to identify and use crosswalks to cross the street. Again, children should look left-right-left for vehicles and bikes before crossing. It is crucial that children know not to play around the street and to always pay attention. It is good to make a rule of no electronic devices when commuting to and from school.
If you are driving your children keep in mind to always be on the lookout for pedestrians. As more families are commuting at different times foot traffic is likely to be high in neighborhoods and near schools. Everyone should buckle up, every trip; even in carpools, so have a conversation with your neighbors and friends.
Keep it safe
For information regarding safety look at the following resources:
Poudre Valley School District: www.psdschool.org/programs-services/transportation
Thompson School District: www.thompsonschools.org/Page/3838
Colorado Department of Transportation: www.cdot.gov/programs/bikeped/safe-routes
SafeKids Larimer County: www.sklarimer.org