For many kids, back to school commercials seem cruel. After what seems like an endless childhood summer, seeing those ads for pencils, crayons, and construction paper (all that boring stuff), feels like a threat. For parents, however, it often comes as a welcome relief. And once kids get back into the swing of the school year and get to hang out with their friends, their pain tends to fade a little bit.
To ensure both parents and children make the most of the school year, it's important to go over some safety tips before school starts back. Whether it's a parent on the road or a child boarding a school bus, there are many potentially hazardous traffic scenarios at play during school commutes. Our helpful tips will help you make sure you and your child stay safe during this hectic time.
How to Survive the School Year Madness
You have a ton on your plate as a parent, and it's easy to become distracted while driving. Whether you're picking up your child or dropping them off, you need to keep your eyes on the road at all times. Avoid multi-tasking (breaking up a fight between two children in the backseat, for example), and using your phone while driving.
When entering a school zone, pay close attention to all signage and traffic signals. Failing to do so could result in a costly ticket. Many parents are in a rush, which means drivers around you may engage in dangerous behavior on the road. Stay locked in, stay focused, and don't let anything or anyone distract you — even your child.
Keep Your Child Safe This School Year
While your child may not be super enthusiastic about getting back to school, they'll have to return eventually. If you drop them off at school each morning, make sure they are aware of their environment when opening your vehicle door. Teach them to look both ways before crossing and to pay attention to what pedestrians and drivers are doing around them.
If they ride the school bus, give them a rundown on safety; you should refresh them even if they rode the bus in previous school years. Remind them to always wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before boarding. Emphasize the importance of seatbelts and tell them to never stand up on the bus until it reaches its destination.
Make sure they know to stay on the sidewalk whenever possible and to only cross the street at crosswalks, and never in front of the bus. While your child may grow tired of hearing the same tips every year, it's essential to drill these procedures into their minds. Good habits start with consistent behavior.
Make Safety a Priority This School Year
Back to school season is a busy time. With so much else going on, focusing on traffic safety can seem challenging. However, making the commitment to do so is essential to you and your child's safety. Commit to good habits while driving and help make sure your child stays safe whether they are traveling with you or on their own. Not everyone will love going back to school, but with these tips, they can stay safe along the way.