Springfield, IL - It's once again that time of year in Central Illinois when local schools will be opening their doors to a new group of students. The American Red Cross wants children of all ages to be safe as they start out a new school year and offers the following safety tips for students and parents alike:
-If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps for students include:
-Motorists should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean:
-If children ride in a car to get to school, they should always wear a seat belt. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4'9"), and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
-If a teenager is going to drive to school, parents should mandate that they use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving. All drivers should be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down, especially in residential areas and school zones.
Biking and Walking
-Students who ride their bike to school should always wear a helmet, obey all traffic signs and ride on the right in the same direction as traffic.
-Those who walk to school should only cross the street at an intersection, and use a route along which the school has placed crossing guards. Parents should walk young children and children taking new routes or attending new schools at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Thereafter, arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.