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Back to School: Tips for Kids and Parents

Word's out: summer's almost officially over. Other than the nationwide-groans from kids, there's also something else to be concerned about: children's safety. These kids may be in their preschool years, or they may be at the driving age --- bottom line is: safety is a still a genuine concern.

Here are some tips both for parents and children to make their trip back to school a safe one:

  • Parents should have a talk with their children regarding safety. For the younger kids, parents should be giving out more specific advice than "don't talk to strangers." These talks can and should also include the following topics: looking left to right before crossing, crossing/getting off the bus only where it is allowed or with adult supervision and numbers to call should they find themselves lost. For the older kids, maybe it's time to introduce a Parent-Teen Driving Contract --- to put down in paper what is specifically not allowed in the scope of their driving privilege/responsibility.
  • Drive carefully. Be the example for your children. Always buckle your seat belt before driving, remove all distractions from the vehicle and always obey traffic signs or lights. Always keep the vehicle maintained so it doesn't break down and the kids (or you!) won’t get late.
  • If the school is within walking distance from the home, parents should survey the route their children take. Is there a “walking school bus” (a group of kids on their way to school accompanied by an adult from the neighborhood) near the area where you live?
  • For parents and teen drivers: always be aware of school zones. The penalties of going too fast or driving up where you’re not supposed to is even greater than when you're on the road --- even worse, you may get a crash. Remember that there is a speed limit of 25mph in school zones which apply before and after school hours.
  • Have fun: school may end up being the best time for children, and a fond memory for parents. Making sure you and your family is safe ensures that you’ll cherish the moment more.
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