Back to School Safety Tips

As your child heads back to school this fall, school safety is likely at the top of your priority list. But while the recent focus in the media has been on school violence, research shows that kids are nine times more likely to sustain an unintentional injury either at school or on the playground than to be a victim of violence at school. In fact, some 2.2 million children 14 years of age and under are injured in school-related accidents annually, according to National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

Because prevention is the best plan for back to school, teaching your child about how to safe is vital. Below are some school safety tips that can help your child stay street smart this year and beyond.

School Safety Tips

Traveling to and from School

  • Establish a walking and bus route. Choose the most direct way to school with the least amount of crossing and with intersections that are monitored by crossing guards.
  • Walk the school route with your child before classes begin. Instruct your child to stay from deserted places, such as parks, vacant lots, fields and other potentially dangerous areas.
  • Ensure that your child does not walk alone. Instead, have him walk to and from school with a sibling, friend, neighbor, nanny or another trusted adult.
  • If you’ll be driving your kids to school, deliver and pick them up as close to school as possible and don’t leave until they’re either in the building or in the school yard.
  • If your child will be biking to school, ensure that he wears a safety standard approved bike helmet according to the proper wear instructions.
  • Teach kids to arrive early at the bus stop. Educate your children about proper bus safety: this means staying off the street, waiting for bus to totally stop before approaching it and avoiding the bus’ blind spot. Children should also be instructed not to bend down in front of a bus, for example to tie their shoes or pick up an object, as the bus driver might not be able to see them. Proper safety while on the bus is essential too. Kids must stay seated at all times and keep their heads and arms inside. Also, they should exit only when the bus has come to a complete stop, exit from the front using the safety hand rail, and cross the street a minimum of 10 feet in front of the bus.
  • Make sure your child learns important contact information, including her home phone number, address, your work number as well as the number of another trusted adult. She should also know how to call 911 during an emergency.
  • Teach your child about strangers. Children should never talk to strangers, or accept rides or gifts from strangers, or do any favors for strangers. Identify a stranger as someone who you or your child do not know well and that this person isn’t someone that can be trusted.

Child Playground Safety

  • Check equipment to ensure that it’s safe. This includes looking for any hazardous materials, rust as well as dangerous surfaces. Report any problems to the school.
  • Make sure that equipment is up to date. Inform yourself as to whether the school is following current safety standards and is on top of equipment and toy recalls.
  • Avoid drawstrings on your child’s sweatshirts and hoodies. Drawstrings can pose a hazard to a child during playtime.
  • Teach your child playground etiquette. This means no pushing, shoving or crowding.
  • Give your child some bully coping strategies. Teach your children to walk away from bullies or to tell them to stop bullying. If your child has been a bully in the past, speak to him about the hurt this behavior is causing the other child. If such problems persist, speak to a teacher.

Looking for more back to school safety tips? Read our article on abduction prevention and find helpful advice on teaching your kids about stranger safety.