Back to school is a busy time for children and families. Between school supplies, new clothes and sports tryouts, parents may not think about safety issues. So, we encourage all parents to talk to their children about how to stay safe when traveling to school this year.
More than 15,000 children seek medical attention for injuries sustained while walking, and almost 500 children die every year in pedestrian accidents. According to a 2015 report by Safe Kids Worldwide, pedestrian injuries among 16-19 year olds increased 25 percent over the previous five years. Teens now account for half of all pedestrian deaths among children 19 and under.
Here are 6 quick tips for heading back to school:
1. Put devices down while crossing the street. One in five high school students cross the street while distracted by technology. Teach your kids to put devices down, look up, listen, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
2. Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
3. Make sure your carpool is safe. Carpooling is a great way to save time for busy families. Make sure each child in the carpool has a car seat, booster seat or safety belt, based on individual age, weight and height. If there isn’t, find an alternative way for your child to get to and from school.
4. Receive a pre-participation physical exam. Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam, or PPE, by a doctor. This can help rule out any potential medical conditions that may place your young athlete at risk.
5. Drink enough water. To keep kids in top shape for sports or gym class, it’s important for them to stay hydrated. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 5 oz. for an 88-pound child every 20 minutes or 9 oz. for a 132-pound adolescent every 20 minutes.
6. Check playgrounds where your children play. Look for age-appropriate equipment and hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Report any hazards to the school.
Looking for a fun, interactive way to teach your kids? Visit this hands-on infographic from SafeKids Worldwide that will be sure to catch their attention!
For more information on safety initiatives at Children’s, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.