It’s that time of year again where children are heading back to the classroom. Every parent wants to do everything they can to ensure their child is as safe as possible when going back to school. The American Red Cross has steps that every parent can take with their child to make the going back to school as safe as possible.
Free phone app
The American Red Cross has developed a free app for iPhone and Android phones. This app not only prepares you for emergencies and teaches first aid, but it also provides news that can help prepare parents to send their child to school in the safest way possible. David Markenson, chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and pediatric experts, says, “When kids go back to school, parents should make sure the child knows their home phone number and address, parents’ work contact information, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1.” He also added that parents should teach their children not to talk to or accept rides with strangers. Some other information the app provides includes: bus safety and driving, walking or biking to school.
If a child is planning on riding the bus, they should get out to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb or street while waiting for the bus to arrive. Some of the other tips that the American Red Cross has listed to stay safe while riding the bus are:
- Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed you to get in.
- Only board your bus and never an alternate one.
- Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
- Cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
- Never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
What bus signals mean
Not only should the children know what to do when waiting for and boarding the bus, but motorists should also know what the yellow and red bus signals mean. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is getting ready to stop and the motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop if need be. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign mean the bus is stopped and children are either getting on or off of it. Drivers on both sides of the bus must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.
Children getting to and from school
Some children are driven to school or are old enough to drive themselves. If this is the case, they should always wear a seat belt. If your teenager is driving to school, make sure they know not to text or make calls while driving. The less distractions, the better. Also, many children walk or bike to school. All drivers should be aware of this and slow down, especially in residential areas and school zones. Students who ride their bike to school should obey all traffic signs and stay on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic. If a student is walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection and use a route where the school has placed crossing guards. Parents should walk their children to school for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. After that, the parents should arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate. The American Red Cross is here to help parents and their children make going back to school as safe as they possibly can!