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Back to School Safety Checklist

  • As summer draws to a close and children start heading back to school, family life can get pretty hectic. It's important to remember – and share with your children – some key tips that will help keep them safe and healthy throughout the school year.

    Getting to School 


    Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is vitally important that they – and the motorists around them – take proper safety precautions.

    Walkers »

    • Walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic
    • Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming
    • Never dart out in front of a parked car
    • Parents: Practice walking to school with your child, crossing streets at crosswalks when available
    • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
    • Do not walk while using headphones

    Bike Riders »

    • Always wear a helmet that is fitted and secured properly
    • Children need to know the rules of the road: Ride single file on the right side of the road, come to a complete stop before crossing the street and walk the bike across
    • Watch for opening car doors and other hazards
    • Use hand signals when turning
    • Wear bright-colored clothing

    Bus Riders »

    • Teach children the proper way to get on and off the bus
    • Line up 6 feet away from the curb as the bus approaches
    • If seat belts are available, buckle up
    • Wait for the bus to stop completely before standing
    • Do not cross in front of the bus if possible, or walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the other drivers

    Drivers, Share the Road »

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    • Don't block crosswalks
    • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and take extra care in school zones
    • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
    • Never pass a bus loading or unloading children
    • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus

    Teen Drivers


    Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced. They struggle judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for conditions and turning safely, among other things. As your teen becomes a new driver, learn more about what you can do as a parent to keep them safe.

    Prevent Injuries at School


    Following are more discussion topics and resources for parents of school-age children.

Review Your Family's Safety Rules

Fall can be a hectic time, but safety should never take a back seat.

Get the Checklist
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    Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, about three kids die each week in hot cars.

    What You Can Do
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    Improperly installed safety seats put children at risk. Learn how to keep them safe.

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National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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