The sun has set on another summer. With the kids heading back to school, September can be a hectic month.
When the pace of life speeds up, it’s more important than ever to slow down and focus on safety. Here are some tips to keep you and your family healthy and safe during back to school season.
Getting to school
Back to school season means an increase in pedestrians and motorists on the road. Whether you drive or walk your kids to school, remain alert and give yourselves plenty of extra time so you don’t have to rush. Respect the speed limit in school zones and obey crossing guards and signs. If your kids commute to and from school on their own, be sure to remind them to walk on the sidewalk, always face traffic, and avoid darting out in front of parked cars.
Don’t let the weight of the world get you down
Does it feel like your child’s backpack weighs a ton? If their backpack is too heavy, it can seriously affect their still-developing body. A backpack should weigh no more than 5% to 10% of a child’s weight. Some things to consider when picking one out are to look for a bag with an ergonomic design, padded back and straps, and multiple compartments to help distribute weight.
Head’s up, phones down
These days, it is more unusual for a teen not to have a smartphone than to have one. UBC recently conducted a study that found that people who walk while using their mobile devices are slower than other pedestrians and are less steady on their feet.
Encourage your kids to put the phones away while walking. If they have to send a text, suggest that they stop and move out of the way of others. While it’s standard to listen to music in the car, it’s best not to wear headphones while walking as it distracts from potential safety hazards, such as fast-moving vehicles and uneven pavement.
For more information:
- Back to School Safety Checklist
- When are kids old enough to walk to school alone?
- Back to School Safety and Planning for Emergencies
- Backpack Safety Tips
- By The Numbers: Pedestrian Injuries