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Keeping Kids Safe: Walking and Biking to School

Keeping Children Injury Free Walking to School:

Many of us remember walking to school every day, however today that is not the case.  Less that fifteen percent of students are walking to school according to FHWA.  Thus, in an effort to encourage students to walk to school International Walk & Bike to School Day was created.   Tomorrow, October 2, 2019, many young children, including my own, will be walking to school to partake in this event.  It is a great opportunity to remind our kids of walking and biking tips to make sure they get to and from school safely and without injury.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following safety recommendations:

Walking- Pedestrian Safety:

To keep are children safe from accidents while walking to school, NHTSA recommends the following:

  • Children 10 years and older should be supervised by an adult.
  • Remind children to use sidewalks
  • Crossing streets at the crosswalk
  • Another tip is to try to make eye contact with any cars making a right turn before entering the crosswalk to make sure these drivers see you.
  • Remind kids to use the pedestrian button at their crossing or to cross if possible where a school crossing guard is present.
  • Additionally, for teens with cell phones – look at the roadway, not the cell phone.

Pedestrian accidents are easily avoidable when extra precaution is taken by children walking to school.  These are very simple tips, but making sure your child is implementing them is key.

Biking:

To keep children free of bike accidents, implement the following tips:

  • For children biking to school, remind your child to always where their helmet.  Helmets are life saving in both an accident and a fall. They protect children from suffering serious brain injury and parents should reiterate helmets are mandatory.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Abide by stop signs or traffic signals
  • Use bike lanes when available.
  • For children that have access to cell phones, a reminder to not use the phone while riding is important.
  • No Headphones – Accident often happen when people are using headphones while riding a bike and become unaware of their surroundings.

Safe Route to School:

Many school have available a safe route to school planned for children.  We encourage you to ask you school if they have a safe route in place.  Additionally, if you walk or ride to school with your child, help them to plan the safe route.

We hope everyone has an adventurous and safe day with their kids tomorrow!

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