Back to School, Back to Safety

Back to School, Back to Safety
Posted on 09/11/2017

By UFA Chief Mike Watson

This article is an effort to increase awareness of possible safety issues that are associated with our kids returning to school. Most of the information provided comes from Safe Kids USA.

Being proactive is a very important step. Please schedule time to talk to your children and make a plan. For those of you whose children will be walking to and from school, walk the route with them to identify hazards. If there are route options, select the one that has the least number of traffic crossings and intersections. Children under the age of 10 should only cross streets with an adult. Streets should only be crossed at intersections or corners and the use of traffic signals and crosswalks should be mandated with your children. Crossing mid-street, running out into streets or crossing between parked cars is very dangerous. Distracting conversations should be brought to a halt while preparing to cross or while crossing streets, in order to enable 100 percent awareness and focus during street crossings.

Drivers of vehicles are asked to be aware of increased pedestrian traffic at key times of day. Please slow down during these times and be especially alert in residential areas and school zones. Be especially alert and take the time to look for kids at intersections, in medians, curbs and driveways. Please be aware that kids make mistakes and errors in judgment. Continue to reduce distractions inside your car in order to concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Please put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving.

Teach and model these safety issues and behaviors to your kids. Taking the time to walk routes, talk about potential hazards, set the tone for expectations and behaviors creates ownership on behalf of our kids who walk to and from school.

Let’s be proactive, parents and guardians! Thank you and as always, stay safe.