National Safety Service Offers Useful Safety Tips and Checklist as Parents and Students Prepare for the New School Year
Smart911, the acclaimed national safety service being used by more than 500 municipalities in 35 states, today announced the availability of a free eBook containing helpful safety tips and a checklist for parents as they prepare to send their children back to the school.
The eBook is available, at no cost, for download at: www.smart911.com/schoolsafety
"With the start of a school year comes new goals and a fresh outlook; an ideal time to reinforce and institute effective safety practices," said Robert Tremblay, superintendent of Milford Public Schools, a Smart911 location in Milford, Mass. "We encourage parents to review this eBook with their children. Safety is imperative at all times and keeping a few basic things in mind will also go a long way to more positive and successful education for our children."
With the start of a new academic year, parents and students should sit down and discuss ways to ensure safety, not only this fall, but throughout the entire year. Tips within the new eBook address safer commuting to and from school, how to deal with bullies and even backpack safety. There are many things to consider when trying to keep students as safe as possible, including:
Safer Traveling to and from School
- School busses are the safest way for students to travel to and from school; however, they are not 100 percent safe. Studies have shown that despite it being against the law, hundreds of thousands of cars each year will pass a school bus while it is stopped to load/discharge student passengers. When getting on or off the bus, students need to be aware and not take for granted when crossing a street that traffic will stop for them, even if the bus's flashing stop sign is deployed. Students should also never walk behind a school bus.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most deaths of children aged 5-19 are due to traffic injuries as occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. If children live close to school, walking or riding a bicycle can be a fun, healthy way to get there. In order for students to make this daily trip, they must understand and use their pedestrian and road safety skills to avoid an accident. Parents need to determine if their child(ren) have the safety know-how to deal with traffic safety.
Bullies Are Not Just "Kids being Kids"
- 28 percent of U.S. students in grades six through 12 have experienced bullying at school and 70.6 percent have witnessed bullying. Parents should communicate openly with their children on the subject and take reports of bullying seriously. It is a very real issue today and school officials encourage parents to contact them about such concerns.
- Parents should be alert for any signs of bullying such as loss of interest in school work, few, if any, friends, complaints of ailments such as stomach aches, trouble sleeping and missing or damaged belongings.
Your Child's Backpack May be Hurting Them
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries annually treated by hospitals and doctors. Injuries include bruises, sprains and strains to the back and shoulder and fractures.
- Parents should ensure their children select backpacks that are lightweight and can be worn properly without overfilling. More important than color, pattern or "coolness," an improperly fitted or overfilled backpack can quickly result in severe back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems in children.