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As students head back to the classrooms, the American Red Cross offer 10 tips to help keep children safe

Simple steps that can be taken to help kids be safe as they navigate their way to school
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 8:16 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -More students are headed back to classrooms this week after having the summer off and child safety remains top of mind.

The American Red Cross says it wants to make sure your student is safe for the upcoming school year.

“Parents and kids are both eager to get back to normal and return to the classroom as a new school year starts,” said Eric Myers, Executive Director, Red Cross of Western Colorado. “But don’t forget to make safety a top priority.”

The American Red Cross has 10 steps that can help make the transition and journey back to the classroom a safe one.

1. If your child rides the bus, they should arrive early to the bus stop and stand safely away from the curb while waiting for the bus.

2. Students should board the bus only after it is completely stopped and the driver has instructed them to board. Children should only board their bus and never an alternate bus.

3. Children should stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.

4. If walking, children should always cross at intersections, obey traffic signals and use crosswalks.

5. Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

6. If you drive your child to school, always make sure their seatbelt is buckled up. Use a proper booster seat as appropriate and ride in the rear seat until at least 13-years-old.

7. If a teenager is driving themselves to school, parents should mandate that they use a seatbelt.

8. If your child rides their bike to school, they should always wear a helmet and ride on the right side of the road, with the direction of traffic.

9. If children are walking to school, they should cross only at intersections and take a route that includes designated school crossing guards.

10. If parents can, they should walk with their young children to school, if they are taking a new route, or going to a new school for at least the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely, or arrange for their child to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

Parents with younger children and those going to school for the first time should also make sure their child knows their phone number, address and how to get in touch with their parents, or another trusted adult as well as how to dial 911. Teach your children about not talking to strangers or accepting rides from anyone they do not know.

The Red Cross also reminds drivers to slow down in school zones. When driving near a bus, motorists in both directions of traffic must stop when the bus’s red lights are flashing and the stop sign is displayed and do not proceed until all the children have reached a safety zone. If there is a physical barrier such as a concrete or grassy median or guide rails that separate the lanes of travel, drivers in the opposing lanes may continue driving without stopping.

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