Soon, Florida students across the state will be headed back to classes. From children entering kindergarten for the first time to college seniors almost ready to join the work force, Florida is full of students. Many students get dropped off at school or walk to school. In the autumn months, this can mean an increase in pedestrian accidents and other accidents involving children and cars. Here’s how you can keep your child safe:
1) If you have a young child, now is the time to relearn pedestrian safety. If your child is in the early grades or is joining a new school in a new area, now is the time to take strolls to and from school. This is a great way to teach your child the basics of safety and also gives you a chance to notice any potential problems. If you notice a busy intersection or other troubling aspect of the walk, for example, you might want to arrange a buddy system for your child or make arrangements to walk your child yourself each day.
2) If you will be driving your child to school, look for a good route. Take a few different routes to your child’s school and find one that will be quietest and safest, with fewest traffic snafus. Time yourself and add a few minutes so that you know when you have to leave in the mornings.
3) Get your car tuned up. If you are driving your child to school, you want to make sure that your car is in great condition. This is actually a great time for everyone to get a basic tune up. Being able to stop quickly and having a car that handles well is essential during the school year, when children are on the streets and roads before and after school.
4) Don’t assume older children know everything there is to know about road safety. Even if your children are older, it might be a good idea to go over some basic rules about getting to and from school. You might want to go over stranger rules or rules regarding taking bicycles to school.
5) If your older child will be driving to school, go over some ground rules. If you have a teen who will be driving to school for the first time, work together to find a non-congested route to school. Make sure your teen won’t be talking on a cell phone or texting while driving – that type of distraction in rush hour traffic can be fatal.
6) Make arrangements for walking. If your child will be walking to school, consider setting up a group of children who can walk together or a group of adults or children who can walk together to ensure that everyone gets to school safe.