Although for us Seattleites, with the sunny days steadying out and Seafair coming up, it feels like summer is just getting into full swing, the new school year will be here before we know it. Preparing entails more than just buying new clothes and supplies for your school-age children. It also means preparing them for whatever mode of transportation gets them to and from school.
Here are some tips for kids who must walk, bike or take a bus to and from school.
Although traffic fatalities in Seattle are slowly decreasing, most still involve pedestrians, reports the Seattle Times. With lots of traffic at the start and end of school, and drivers not always slowing down enough in school zones (although school zone cameras have helped to mitigate that), the risk of getting hit is very real.
Plan a safe walking route home for your children. Teach them to always use the crosswalk when available and to make eye contact with drivers before crossing to ensure visibility. For older kids, remind them that avoiding distractions such as smartphones and music will help them be fully aware of their surroundings.
Riding a bike
We all love ride-your-bike-to-school-day and the fun and exercise of biking in general. However, bike accidents are a common cause of injury. Make sure your child wears a helmet and knows local bike laws. Inspect bikes weekly to prevent any accidents that might otherwise arise due to poor maintenance.
Taking the school bus
School buses are notorious for being loud and rowdy inside. While it may seem like innocent fun to the students, this kind of behavior can have harmful consequences. Bus drivers are responsible for paying attention to the road and students, so kids should do their part to follow the driver's rules, which will allow the bus driver to focus on the road. Students should stay seated and keep all body parts inside the bus to prevent injury in the event of an accident.