Have a Safe Start to the School Year

Talk to your children about pedestrian safety and more.

By now, you probably have the school supplies, the backpack and the uniforms, new clothes and shoes. But have you thought about your children’s safety as they head back-to-school? I’ll admit, I was a little lacking in this department with my own children. I’m sure that I didn’t think of every area to cover in terms of safety.

SafeKids Tulsa Area, a non-profit that works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, sent out a press release outlining the top six back-to-school safety tips. The organization urges parents to talk to kids about pedestrian safety as well as practicing safe habits.

Here is the information from Safe Kids in its entirety. I hope you will review the tips and talk to your children about them.

Top Six Safety Tips for Kids Heading Back to School

Safe Kids Tulsa Area urges parents to talk to kids about pedestrian safety and more

Back to school is a busy time for children and families. Between school supplies, new clothes and sports tryouts, parents should also remember to talk to their children about staying safe. Safe Kids Tulsa Area has provided some helpful information below and on their website www.safekids.org.

Pedestrian safety is important this time of year as more than 19,200 children seek medical attention for injuries sustained while walking and almost 500 children die every year in pedestrian accidents. According to a 2012 report by Safe Kids, pedestrian injuries among 16-19 year olds increased 25 percent over the previous five years. Teens now account for half of all pedestrian deaths among children 19 and under.

“Distraction is a big problem, both while driving and walking," said Washington, Safe Kids Tulsa Area coordinator. "As kids head back to school, we’re urging parents to talk to their kids to make sure they are paying full attention when crossing the street and we as adults should also follow our own advice. If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.”

Safe Kids Tulsa Area recommends the following back to school tips:

  • Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking – teach kids at an early age to put down their devices and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
  • Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives – tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
  • Make sure your carpool is safe – carpooling is a great way to save time for busy families. Make sure each child in the carpool has a car seat, booster seat or safety belt, based on individual age, weight and height. If one is not available, find an alternative way for your child to get to and from school.
  • Receive a pre-participation physical exam – before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam (PPE) by a doctor. This can help rule out any potential medical conditions that may place your young athlete at risk.
  • Drink enough water – bring a water bottle to practice and games. Encourage children to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 5 oz. for an 88-pound child every 20 minutes or 9 oz. for a 132-pound adolescent every 20 minutes.
  • Check playgrounds where your children play – look for age-appropriate equipment and hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Report any hazards to the school or an appropriate local office.

Categories: Editor’s Blog

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