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Expert Advice for a Safe Trip Back to School

school bus stopped

MONDAY, Aug. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Whether your kids walk to school, take the bus or ride in a carpool, teaching them some common-sense practices will make for a safer trip, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

Children who take a school bus should be reminded to wait for it to stop before approaching it. Tell them to walk where they can always see the bus driver; that means the driver can see them, too. They should look both ways before crossing the street, and respect all bus rules, including staying seated and listening to the driver.

If the bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, children should use them at all times.

Most children are ready to start walking to school between 9 and 11 years of age. Make sure their route has well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection. If a child is young or going to a new school, walk with them or have another adult do so until they know the route and can take it safely.

If your child needs to cross a street on the way to school, practice safe street crossing with them before the first day of class.

Try to find other neighborhood children with whom your child can walk. Or organize a "walking school bus," in which an adult accompanies a group of children on their walk to school.

It's a good idea for kids to wear bright-colored clothing or a vest/armband with reflectors to make them more visible to drivers.

If kids are biking to school, practice the route with them before the first day. Make sure they always wear a helmet, use appropriate hand signals and obey traffic lights and stop signs. Be sure they know the rules of the road, ride in the same direction as traffic, and use bike lanes if they are present.

They also should wear bright-colored clothing and reflective gear, especially after dark.

More information

Safe Kids Worldwide has more on getting to school safely.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release
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