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  • Writer's pictureJM-Simplified

Back to School Safety Checklist

As summer draws to a close and children start heading back to school, family life can get pretty hectic. It's important to remember and share with your children some key tips that will help keep them safe and healthy throughout the school year.

Getting to School

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is vitally important that they – and the motorists around them – take proper safety precautions.


  • Walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.

  • Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming.

  • Never dart out in front of a parked car.

  • Parents: Practice walking to school with your child, crossing streets at crosswalks when available.

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone. Do not walk while using headphones.

Bike Riders:

  • Always wear a helmet that is fitted and secured properly.

  • Children need to know the rules of the road: Ride single file on the right side of the road, come to a complete stop before crossing the street and walk the bike across.

  • Watch for opening car doors and other hazards.

  • Use hand signals when turning.

  • Wear bright-colored clothing.

Bus Riders:

  • Teach children the proper way to get on and off the bus.

  • Line up 6 feet away from the curb as the bus approaches.

  • If seat belts are available, buckle up.

  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before standing.

  • Do not cross in front of the bus if possible, or walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the other drivers.

  • The facts on bus safety from Injury Facts: According to National Safety Council (NSC) tabulations of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), School bus-related crashes killed 95 people nationwide in 2017.

Drivers, Share the Road:

  • Don't block crosswalks.

  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and take extra care in school zones.

  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way.

  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

  • Never pass a bus loading or unloading children. If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.

  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

Teen Drivers:

Teen vehicle fatalities are on the increase, according to Injury Facts. Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced. They struggle judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for conditions and turning safely, among other things. As your teen becomes a new driver, learn more about what you can do as a parent to keep them safe.

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