Now that we’ve got a month of school under our belts here in Fairfield County, Willows Pediatrics thought it would be a good time to share some tips for school-travel safety with parents of school-aged children.
We love seeing kids in Westport, Fairfield and other local towns walking, biking and even skateboarding to school! It’s reminiscent of a simpler time, it’s a wonderful way to get the blood flowing (and get the “wiggles” out), and it’s great exercise too!
But here are a few things to remember if you get to school by foot. First, teach your children to be safe when crossing the street. Stop, look and listen … those three words are an important part of safe walking. Stop at the curb and look left, then right, then left again. Look for signs that a car is about to move from a parking space or driveway (such as rear lights or exhaust fumes). And Listen for the sounds of motors and directions of crossing guards.
If your child bikes to school or rides on a board, helmets are a must. Also, make sure the bicycle or skateboard is in good working order. And decide on the best route. Avoiding traffic, potholes, sharp turns and other hazards is the best plan. Finally, remind your child to always obey the rules of the road and stop at all intersections.
Many parents drive their children to school. If that’s your preferred mode of transportation, please remember to use car seats and keep your child safely restrained in the car. If your high-schooler drives himself or herself, require your child to follow all rules and restrictions relating to passengers and distracted driving. And parents, please remember to use extra caution when driving in school zones and also when driving near school buses.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a school bus is the safest way for a child to get to school. Remind your children to remain seated on bus rides and also to board (and get off) the bus properly. Riders should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and always look both ways before crossing the street.
Armed with this safety advice, our school-aged kids will be safe and sound and ready for all the fun that autumn has to offer!