Traffic Safety for Children Returning to School

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All children need to be taught traffic safety and need periodic reminders. Children starting a new school year have often spent several months away from the busy traffic environment that is at many schools and need reminders. Being attentive of the possible dangers and learning or reviewing traffic safety rules can help children stay out of harm’s way.

They need to be taught or reminded of:

• crossing streets
• boarding and exiting buses
• riding bicycles
• awareness in parking lots
• attention to driveways

One of the first lessons children are taught is to look both ways before crossing a street. In addition they need to know to walk on the side facing oncoming traffic. Schools often have traffic lights and crossing guards nearby but as children walk farther they might be on their own when it comes to crossing streets. Kids need to be aware of traffic signs and their meanings also. Whether walking, riding bicycles or in-line skates they need to obey traffic signals and signs.

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School buses are a safe mode of transportation. The potential for accidents peaks when children are boarding and exiting buses. Children need to be educated about how to approach, board, exit, and walk around a school bus. Children waiting for a bus need to be taught to stay a safe distance from the curb and never play in or around the street while waiting. They need to be sure the bus has come to a complete stop and the door is open and the driver lets them know it is time to board.

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Children must avoid walking in front of, behind, or on the side of a bus while it is loading or unloading or parked. They need to be aware of other cars that are around the bus and never walk between them to get to a bus or after exiting. When exiting, they should stay a minimum of three steps away from the bus and wheels. Belts, hoods, straps, drawstrings and so on need to be fastened or tucked in because they can get caught in bus doors.

If your child or children need to cross the street in front of the bus, teach them to go ahead of the bus on the side of the road or sidewalk for at least 10 steps so the bus driver can see them before crossing. Then they should look both ways for any oncoming traffic before crossing.

by David McLeod

Owner and Elementary School Teacher

David has been teaching elementary school in Central Texas for over 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in online education related websites and blogs.

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