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Back to School Safety

Published on August 12th, 2021 by The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm

Back to School Safety 101

What you and your child(ren) should consider for back to school safety

August marks the turning of hot summer days to crisp Fall nights. Alongside cooler days, many of us are prepping to return our young ones to school. This time can be wracked with nerves for kids, parents, and teachers alike. While the transition may cause some anxiety, Fall also brings time honored traditions, like homecoming, football games, apple picking, and more Fall favorites.

To help all of us sooth the feelings of anxiety and jump straight to the great parts of Fall, The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm has comprised a list of safety tips to consider for many of our back to school worries.

School Zones

School Zones are designated areas where focused attention and extra precautions are needed. This is where many children are in transit to and from school by foot, bike, bus, and car. It’s important to stay alert in these zones to prevent injury for parents, children, and school staff.

The most obvious thing to stay mindful of is children darting around vehicles. Kids are taught to look both ways but can be distracted and forget to stop. Anticipate this. If a child doesn’t stop at an intersection, following the reduced speeds that are assigned to school zones will allow plenty of time to react in case a child doesn’t follow the safety rules they should.

It’s also important to respect the distance and signage of school buses. Not only are young students regularly hopping on and off the bus, but the bus driver is also driving a larger vehicle with plenty of distractions onboard. Even though bus drivers are well-trained, it’s important to maintain plenty of distance for the bus driver to maneuver. When the bus is stopped and displays signs requesting for cars not to drive around them, adhere to it. It may be annoying, especially if you’re in a rush to get somewhere, but risking a child’s life is never worth it.

Back to School Safety for Kids

If you’re a parent, you’ve surely given your kid sound advice, only to be thanked with a dramatic eyeroll. Although it may be frustrating to receive the eyeroll response, repeatedly equipping your child with knowledge that will keep them safe is a parent’s lot in life.

Below are some talking points to get the conversation started with your child regarding back to school safety.

When commuting to and from school:

  • Don’t dart between vehicles, even if they are temporarily stopped
  • Always obey the crossing guard and only cross at designated intersections and crosswalks
  • Always wear your helmet when riding a bike; if you ride in a city area on the street, remember to ride your bike with the flow of traffic
  • Look both ways before crossing the street; if a vehicle is stopped at a stop sign make eye-contact with them to confirm they see you before crossing
  • Don’t use your cellphone or other electronic devices that will distract you
  • If you are driving be aware of school zones and adhere to safe driving standards

 

Getting to school and home from school are major school safety concerns, but what about inside the classroom? Let’s review best practices for our kids once they are at school.

It’s important to know the schools’ emergency procedures. These are normally reviewed by the school within the first 30 days. Emergency procedures cover everything from tornado safety to active shooter plans. Make sure your kids know where they are assigned to go if any life-threatening event happens at school. While it’s not something any parent wants to think about, having these conversations could save your child’s life.

Students should also know where fire extinguishers are in the building and know how to use them in case of an emergency. Some schools have different rules about first-aid kits and medicine, so be sure to know what those are. A school may require any injury, such as a skinned knee, to be treated with the nurse. Many schools also do not allow any school staff member to give a child medication of any kind, not even a pain reliever for a headache.

On a less extreme, but still important note, there are other items you may want your child to be aware of while in school. They should be aware of clutter in walkways, such as aisles between desks. In the cafeteria and gyms look out for wet floors, spills, or other debris that may cause them to slip or trip. Keep an eye out for decorations that are not well anchored and may fall on people, loose railings on stairs, and splintering wood on furniture. If your child notices any of these items, they should report it to the nearest adult. They should not attempt to fix these dangers themselves.

To view more back to school safety suggestions from the state of Illinois click here. Because Covid-19 updates and information are everchanging, please reference the Illinois Government Coronavirus website.

Contact Us

Although many injuries can be prevented by following back to school safety rules and regulations, accidents still happen. If you have questions about the circumstances of an injury sustained by you or your child, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or fill out this form. We offer free customized case assessments and are ready to help.

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