According to the National Safety Council, in 2009 nearly a quarter million children visited hospital emergency rooms due to playground injuries. With the nation’s students back in the classroom, the safety of kids traveling to and from school, and the precautions taken at school are a priority for both educators and parents. Here are some important things to remember.
Sidewalks, Traffic and Crosswalks
The trip to and from school can become so routine that safety considerations are taken for granted. Any time students are walking, biking or riding to school, they need to be aware of their surroundings and all the possible hazards they might face.
Children are not likely to travel in a straight line very often, but it’s vitally necessary they be reminded the sidewalk isn’t there to divide the lawn from the road. Sidewalks are for keeping people out of traffic. Sidewalks are for safety. This should be repeated to kids as often as necessary so they understand it. Sidewalk? Safe. Road? Not safe.
If there is no sidewalk, children should learn to walk on whichever side of the road allows them to face traffic. Younger children in particular can be hard for drivers to see. The slower the car is traveling, the easier it is for the driver to miss pedestrians on the passenger side of the vehicle. If the children are facing traffic as they walk, they can be sure they are avoiding vehicles. They will also be easier to notice because they will be moving at a faster speed relative to cars.