Central Illinois Red Cross Back to School Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again… the beginning of the school year is drawing near, much to the chagrin of children and delight of parents all over Central Illinois. The American Red Cross is encouraging parents and children to make this the safest year ever. Below are some tips and suggestions that can help parents and children ease safely into the school routine. .
Travel Safety Tips for Parents and Students:
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.
Safety on the Bus
- Line up facing the bus, not alongside it.
- Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
- Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack.
- Never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it. The bus driver may be sitting too high up to see you.
- After getting off the bus, move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic. If there is no sidewalk, try to stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street. Walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.
- Never cross the street or play behind the school bus.
Safety on Foot
- Never walk or ride alone — always travel with a buddy.
- Pay attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards along the way. Never cross the street against a stop light.
- Look both ways before you cross the street.
- Always wear brightly colored clothing so that drivers can easily see you.
- Parents should always know the route that their child walks to and from school.
Safety on Two Wheels - Tips on Bike Safety from Safe Kids USA
The single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is a helmet.
- Make it a rule: every time you and your child ride a bike, wear a bicycle helmet that meets the safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- If your child is reluctant to wear a helmet, try letting him or her choose his own.
Helmet fit is important.
- Make sure the helmet fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled but not too tightly.
Try the Eyes, Ears and Mouth Test:
- EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V" under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
- MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.
Always model and teach proper behavior. Learn the rules of the road, and obey all traffic laws.
- Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against. Stay as far to the right as possible.
- Use appropriate hand signals.
- Respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stop lights.
- Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.
Want more information?
The American Red Cross offers several Traffic Safety programs to introduce children to the fundamentals of safe travel. We go the extra mile to keep our local youth safe by teaching them in a fun and interactive way.
Our goal is to educate the community in all aspects of traffic safety in order to create awareness. In this, we hope to help others and saves lives – by preventing injuries and fatalities from traffic incidents in Central Illinois. For more information on our traffic safety classes, please contact Monica Grugett at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (309)677-7272, ext. 201.