Back to School Safety

It's estimated that 24 million students nationwide start their school day with a trip on the school bus. Whether they walk, ride the bus or travel by car, teach your kids these few tips to ensure they get to and from school safely.

Tips for School Bus Riders
  • Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
  • Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack and never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it.
  • Line up facing the bus, not along side it.
  • Move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic after getting off the bus.
  • Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street and walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.
Tips for Pedestrians or Bike Riders
  • Never walk alone - always travel with a buddy. Try and find a friend, or make a new friend in the neighborhood to walk to school or ride the bus with.
  • Wear reflective or bright color clothing to increase visibility.
  • Respect traffic lights and street signs.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
Tips for Car Drivers & Passengers
  • Make sure young children are in safety seats (CSS) at all times, and that the seats have been properly installed - use the booster seats! Kids need to stay in a CSS until they are at least 8.
  • All children under 13 years should ride in the rear seat of vehicles.
  • Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You may want to limit the number of teen passengers to prevent driver distraction. Do not allow your teen to drive while eating, drinking, texting or talking on a cell phone.
At School Safety Tips
When you drop off your child at school, use this checklist to make sure these hidden hazards aren't waiting to cause injury or death.
  1. Drawstrings on jackets and sweatshirts - There should be no drawstrings on hoods or around the neck. Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should extend no more than 3 inches to prevent catching in car and school bus doors or getting caught on playground equipment.
  2. Loops on window blind cords - Cut the loop and attach separate tassels to prevent entanglement and strangulation in window blind cords. At least 1 child a month strangles and dies in the loop of a window blind pull cord or inner cord. Keep cords out of children's reach. Install cord stops to prevent formation of loop in inner cord.
  3. Soccer goals - Make sure that the athletic director or the custodian anchors the soccer goals into the ground so that the soccer goal will not tip over and crush a child.
  4. Playgrounds - Check the surfaces around playground equipment at schools and parks to make sure there is a 12-inch depth of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury when a child falls. Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground.
  5. Recalled products - Make sure your child's school has up-to-date information on recalled toys and children's products. Schools, daycare providers, and parents can receive recall information by email, or in the regular mail free of charge by calling the CPSC hotline (800-638-2772), or writing to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  6. Backpacks - Pack light, it shouldn't weigh more than 10% to 20% of the student's body weight and make sure they use both straps!