School Safety Series: Walking to School or the Bus Stop

Author: one tough job

We’re a couple weeks into the school year, and kids are back into the routine of getting up and getting ready for school in the morning. Even with their routine down, it is still important to remind them of safety tips to ensure they make it safely to and from school every day. If your child walks to school or to the bus stop, teach them and remind them of these safety skills often to keep them fresh in their minds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that until children are at least 10 or 11 years old, they do not have the skills to handle traffic.

  • Make sure your child is familiar with basic safety tips such as knowing what to do if someone makes them feel uncomfortable and how to reach you if they need you.
  • Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that until children are at least 10 or 11 years old, they do not have the skills to handle traffic. For some children, learning these skills may take longer.
  • Walk the route with your child to make sure your child’s walk is a safe route. Make sure your child, particularly young children, cross the street where there are well-trained adult crossing guards at the intersection.
  • Remind them about stranger danger. Warn them that if anyone is to approach them that they don’t know, to keep walking and tell a trusted adult about the situation as soon as possible (ex. Teacher, Mom, or Dad).
  • Practice crossing the street with your child and make sure they look both ways before crossing. Tell them to be mindful to wait until a crossguard signals for them to cross and look around them to see if the path is clear.
  • Dress your child in bright colored clothing and put reflective tape on your child’s backpack or shoes so she will be more visible to drivers, especially in the winter when it may be dark by the time your child returns from school.
  • You can find additional safety tips to share with your child for his or her walk to school visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

    We hope these safety tips were helpful and help keep your child safe. Download a copy of our graphic and post it on the fridge as a reminder to everyone what the safety rules are. Go over them every few weeks to make sure that they really absorb the information. If you know of any more safety tips that would be helpful for parents whose children walk to school, please share them in the comments below.

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