Mornings on a school day are always hectic. You’re rushing your child out of bed and out the door. If you’re lucky, they remembered to grab their lunch and backpack in the process.
During the school year, it can be easy to prioritize getting to school on time. But getting there safely is equally important. No matter how your child travels to school, it’s worthwhile to teach them how to avoid a dangerous situation.
If your child takes the school bus, bear in mind that a small child will be less noticeable to a driver than a full-grown adult. When your child waits for the bus, teach them to always stand about six feet back from the road. In addition, if they ever need to cross the street in front of a school bus, make sure they allow 10 feet of space between themselves and the bus.
If your child walks to school, make sure that they stay on the sidewalk whenever possible—or walk against traffic, if they have to walk in the road. Whenever they come to an intersection or crosswalk, teach them to look to the left, to the right and to the left again before crossing.
Since the advent of cellphones, distracted driving has become worse—but cellphone distraction can also be a problem for pedestrians. Ensure that your child never uses their cellphone (or other electronic device) while walking. It can easily lead to an accident.
Whenever your child bikes to school, be sure that they wear a helmet. It can greatly reduce the risk of brain injury in the event of an accident. As with walking, distracted biking can also be hazardous. Don’t let your child use their cellphone or listen to music on headphones while biking. If riding in the road, teach your child to always ride on the right side of the street (with traffic). Additionally, teach them to stop completely anytime they have to cross the street.
Anytime your child goes into the street, there is a risk of danger. But helping them learn safe habits early on can make them more cautious. It’s worthwhile to reinforce these responsible habits throughout your child’s life.