Back-to-school safety tips

Photo: "A fall walk to school" by Christopher Dorobek on Flickr

Photo: “A fall walk to school” by Christopher Dorobek on Flickr, Creative Commons

The new school year is nearly here. Families with kids might be preoccupied with where to buy school supplies, what to pack for lunch, and how to get sleep back on schedule after summer holidays. But it’s also important to think about different aspects of safety — on the road and in the classroom — so please check out these tips.

* Children are among the most vulnerable road users because of their varying developmental stages, says HealthyFamiliesBC in their blog post Pedestrian Safety Tips to Teach Kids. Being visible to drivers, choosing a route in advance, and knowing the safest places to cross the streets are among the tips offered.

* ICBC points out that “safety is up to all of us” whether we are driving on the road or walking on the sidewalk. In Pedestrians at risk, ICBC reports that almost one in five people killed in car crashes across BC are pedestrians.

* The Vancouver School Board offers tips for traffic safety. It reminds parents to set an example and drive smart because your kids will notice your driving behaviour.

* Distracted driving is a huge risk to safety and so is distracted walking. The release of Pokemon Go means even more people are staring at their phones and not watching for traffic. Global News looked at research into How distracted are people when they are walking and texting?

* The risks of getting into a collision increase significantly when weather conditions worsen. Drop It and Drive offers Tips to Help You Drive Safely in Bad Weather Conditions, including how to react to skids, be more aware at collision-prone intersections, reduce your speed, and stay in your lane.

* Choosing a safe helmet is essential for those who bike to school. BC has many cycling safety education courses for people of all ages.

* Help keep kids safe from the effects of bullying with information from ERASE Bullying. It also includes information on how to get help for children or youth who bully others.

* Check out these Internet safety tips for parents from the BC Ministry of Education. Public Safety Canada’s Get Cyber Safe program reminds youth to Think Before You Share.

* Health Canada’s Safe school lunches offers tips on how to handle food safely, avoid food poisoning, and be aware of food allergies. Knowing this is also important for kids who pack their own lunches.

Please keep these tips in mind and share them with your family, friends, and colleagues. Do let me know if you have any to add.


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