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Back-To-School Safety Tips
Courtesy of the National Safety Council
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.
Walking to school
Review your family’s walking safety rules.
Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available.
When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
Never dart out in front of a parked car.
Practice walking to school with your child.
Riding a bicycle to school
Make sure your child always wears his helmet when leaving the house.
Teach your children the rules of the road they need to know to ride their bicycles.
Ride on the right side ofthe road and in a single file.
Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.
Riding the bus to school
Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.
If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are at least 12 feet ahead of the bus.
You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.
Preventing backpack-related injuries
Choose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight.
More Back-To-School Safety Tips
Courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics
MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER
Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. This may be at any age. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
Point out the positive aspects of starting school. She'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your student can walk to school or ride on the bus.
If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day.
If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.
EATING DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home and/or have them posted on the school's website. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
Look into what is offered in school vending machines. Vending machines should stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice. Learn about your child's school wellness policy and get involved in school groups to put it into effect.
Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Choose healthier options to send in your child's lunch.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE
During early and middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available to get them ready and off to school in the morning and supervise them after school until you return home from work.
If a family member will care for your child, communicate the need to follow consistent rules set by the parent regarding discipline and homework.
Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
The City of Oelwein and the Oelwein Police Department reminds citizens to do their part on the streets of Oelwein. Barricades and warning lights reminds drivers to slow down, obey traffic signs or lights. Construction zones are needs to address traffic issues or repair city utilities. Your cooperation and safety awareness is greatly appreciated.