Have a Safe & Healthy School Year!

posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The new school year is beginning! Which means that now is a great time to brush up on our safety tips to keep children safe as they head back to school. 

Pedestrian Safety 

  • Use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever available. If you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic on the left side of the road as far left as possible. 
  • Look at least three times before crossing the street – look left, look right, and take another look to the left before crossing. 
  • Always try to make eye contact with the driver – don’t assume that because you can see the driver that the driver can see you. Always use caution while crossing. 
  • Refrain from using electronic devices while crossing the street so you aren’t distracted. 

Bicycle Safety 

  • Make sure your child has the skills to safely ride a bike on their own. 
  • Have your child wear a properly fitted helmet while riding their bike – helmets help to minimize injury during a crash. 
  • Choose the safest route for your children to ride to school – use sidewalks and bike paths when available and permitted. 
  • When riding on the street, bicycles should ride on the right side of the road with traffic and in a single file line if children are riding with friends. Please teach your children proper hand-turning signals so they can communicate with drivers. 

Moped Safety 

  • Make sure that your child is wearing properly fitted gear and apparel while riding a moped. This includes – a helmet to protect your head, closed-toe shoes to protect your feet, and bright/reflective clothing so other drivers can see you. 
  • If your child is riding with their friends, do it in a way that promotes safety. Never ride directly alongside another rider – remain in a staggered formation to maintain adequate space. When crossing intersections, mopeds must cross individually. 

School Bus Safety 

Most school districts typically provide specific school bus guidelines for students. Parents should review those guidelines with their children before riding the bus. 

  • Teach your child to stay approximately six feet away from the curb rather than next to the street. Make sure that your child is a significant distance away from the curb as the bus approaches. 
  • Teach kids to wait for the school bus to come to a complete stop and the bus driver signals before getting on or getting off the bus.  
  • If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, remind them to keep eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the bus driver indicates that it’s safe. Remind your child to look both ways before crossing the street. 

Driver Safety 

  • All drivers must remember to obey traffic rules – take extra precautions while in a school zone and obey all speed limits. 
  • Watch out for children walking or riding their bicycles on school routes. 
  • Never pass a school bus - drivers must stop if a school bus has their lights flashing and the stop arm is extended. 
  • Stop and yield to pedestrians that are crossing the crosswalk or intersection. 
  • Parents or guardians should use designated student drop-off and pick-up zones at the school. 
  • Be prepared for children to appear in unexpected places such as between parked cars or pulling out in front of you. 
  • Put your cell phone away while driving – do not be a distracted driver. 

Additional Safety Tips 

Pay attention to your child’s clothing and school supplies. 

  • Look for backpacks with wide, well-padded straps. Encourage your child to wear their backpack on both shoulders to reduce the chance of straining or injuring their neck or back. To prevent overload, a backpack should not weigh more than 10-15% of a child’s body weight. 
  • Remove drawstrings from jackets, sweatshirts, etc. as those strings can easily get caught on the playground or in doors and can cause injuries. 

Talk to your child about respecting others. 

  • In addition to physical injuries, children can be hurt emotionally. Parents that are aware and proactive can help stop potential problems before they escalate into a serious issue. 

Get your child’s vaccinations and physicals prior to the first day of school. 

  • Parents are strongly encouraged to keep their children up to date on all their vaccinations to keep them healthy and well-protected during the school year. 
  • Iowa law requires children to receive vaccine boosters prior to kinder kids, kindergarten, 7th grade, and 12th grade. 

We wish everyone to have a safe and healthy school year! 

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  2. parenting