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Back-to-School Safety

It’s time to sharpen your pencils, grab some notebooks and head back to class. Getting back into the routine takes some time, and sometimes in the hustle of getting kids up, out and in school, safety falls off the radar. We asked Joe Schaffner, outreach coordinator with Arkansas Children’s Injury Prevention Center to share some back-to-school safety tips. Joe said it’s important to talk to your kids about safety on the bus, at school and on the playground.

“On the bus or any moving vehicle, distractions are a major factor in crashes. It is up to each individual child not to be a distraction – yelling and fighting are all things parents should talk to their child about avoiding,” said Joe.

When it comes to recess. Joe says children outnumber the adults, so playground behavior is another key conversation to have. “Talk to your child about what’s safe and what to avoid, such as hard surfaces or broken equipment.”

Here are some simple reminders to keep you and your family safe this school year:

No phone in the school zone. It is illegal to use your cell phone in a school zone. Phones are a major distraction and put children in danger.  According to the National Safety Council, 26% of crashes in the US involved people using a cell phone. Put it away – it’s not worth a life.

Backpacks: The recommendation is no more than 10% of a child’s body weight. 

Playgrounds: Nearly 80% of all playground injuries are caused by falls. Talk to your children about playing safely and check with your school to make sure the equipment meets safety standards. 

Bus safety: If your child rides the bus, talk to them about ways to get safely on and off.

- Always cross in FRONT of the bus when crossing a street.

- Make sure the bus driver sees you before crossing in front of the bus.

- When getting off the bus, take five giant steps away from the bus before walking.

 

Contact the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s by calling 501-364-3400 or e-mail us at injuryprevention@archildrens.org.

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