Back-to-school means getting back to a much busier schedule than many families are used to. And the busier we are, the more distracted we can be.
SafeKids Southwest Virginia reports that each year, more than 15,000 child pedestrians are injured enough to require medical attention—and nearly 500 children die every year in pedestrian accidents.
The cause? Distraction, says Carilion Clinic’s SafeKids coordinator Jill Lucas.
“Distraction is a big problem, both while driving and walking," she says. "As kids head back to school, we’re urging parents to talk to their kids to make sure they are paying full attention when crossing the street.”To get to school and home safely, SafeKids recommends the following tips for kids—and parents.
Don’t Be a Distracted Walker
Put your phone away and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
“We adults need to follow our own advice,” says Jill. “If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.”
Step Back From the Curb
SafeKids recommends standing at least three giant steps back from the curb—and line up instead of clustering to board the bus one at a time.
Don’t Carpool Without Car Seats
Every child in your neighborhood carpool must use a car seat, booster seat or safety belt that matches their age, weight and height.
Get a Back-to-School Physical
Most schools will require a sports physical before allowing student-athletes to play on athletic teams. But SafeKids recommends that every child starts out the school year with a thorough medical checkup.
Check out these other ways to be a good sports parent.
Drink Enough Water
Kids need to stay hydrated in order to do well on the field—and in the classroom. ds in top shape for sports or gym class, it’s important for them to stay hydrated. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reminds parents that fresh fruits and vegetables are also good sources of water—and they make great snacks, too!
Check out the Playground
Be sure the areas where your child will be playing are free of safety hazards like rusted or broken equipment.
For more safety information for kids at any age and in every situation, visit safekids.org.