Published on Aug 27, 2009 by Edgar Snyder

Back to School Safety Tips –
Buses, Playgrounds, and More

Back-to-school safety tips

It's back to school time, and there are a number of safety concerns that can arise, including bus accidents and playground injuries. There are also a number of ways for parents and caregivers to help keep children safe as the school year gets underway.

School Buses

  • The further away from the bus a child is, the more visible he or she is to the driver. As a rule, children should take five "giant steps" out from the font of the bus, or until the driver's face can be seen.
  • Tell children to look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped.
  • If your child drops something near the bus, tell them to ask the driver for help. You child might not be seen if he or she bends down to pick something up.

Playground Safety

  • Shock absorbing material underneath and around playground equipment should be at least nine inches thick.
  • Protective surfaces should extend six feet in all directions around equipment. For swings, it should extend twice the height of the set.
  • Ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind should never be attached to playground equipment due to strangulation hazards.

Clothing and School Supplies

  • Art supplies in the classroom should always be non-toxic and child safe – make sure materials have "CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236" on their packaging.
  • Remove drawstrings from jackets, hooded shirts, and sweatshirts to eliminate the potential of strangulation injuries.
  • Backpacks can cause muscle strains, stiffness, and numbness in the arms and hands. They should have wide straps and padding in the back and shoulders and shouldn't weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of a child's body weight.
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