Amer­i­can Red Cross of­fers school safety tips

The Weekly Vista - - News - About the Amer­i­can Red Cross: The Amer­i­can Red Cross shel­ters, feeds and

Sum­mer va­ca­tion for stu­dents around the coun­try is at a close as the na­tion’s schools open their doors for the new school year. So, while you’re mak­ing that list of school sup­plies the kids will need, take a look at these safety steps from the Amer­i­can Red Cross and make your stu­dent’s trip back to the class­room a safe one.

Keep­ing all stu­dents safe is the pri­mary con­cern for ev­ery­one, but there are spe­cial steps for par­ents of younger kids and those go­ing to school for the first time: • Make sure chil­dren

know their phone num­bers, ad­dresses, how to get in touch with their par­ents at work, how to get in touch with an­other trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1. • Teach chil­dren not to

talk to strangers or ac­cept rides from some­one they don’t know.

School bus safety

• If chil­dren ride a bus to school, get to their they bus should stop plan early to and curb stand while away wait­ing from for the the bus to ar­rive. • Board the bus only after

it has come to a com­plete stop and the driver or at­ten­dant has in­structed you to get on. • Only board your bus,

never an al­ter­nate one. • Al­ways stay in clear

view of the bus driver and never walk be­hind the bus. • Cross the street at the

cor­ner, obey­ing traf­fic sig­nals and stay­ing in the cross­walk. • Never dart out into the

street or cross be­tween parked cars. Get­ting to school by car, bike, on foot • 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-feet, 9-inches), and ride in the back seat un­til they are at least 13 years old. • If teenagers are go­ing

to drive to school, par­ents should man­date they use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phones to text or make call, and should avoid eat­ing or drink­ing while driv­ing. • Some stu­dents ride

their bike to school. They should al­ways wear a hel­met and ride on the right in the same di­rec­tion as the traf­fic is go­ing. • When chil­dren are

walk­ing to school, they 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 to school, along with chil­dren tak­ing new routes or at­tend­ing new schools, at least for the first week to en­sure they know how to get there safely. Ar­range for the kids to walk to school with a friend or class­mate.

Drivers, slow down

Drivers should be aware that chil­dren are out walk­ing or bik­ing to school and slow down, es­pe­cially in res­i­den­tial ar­eas and school zones. Mo­torists should know what the yel­low and red bus sig­nals mean. Yel­low flash­ing lights in­di­cate the bus is get­ting ready to stop and mo­torists should slow down and be pre­pared to stop. Red flash­ing lights and an ex­tended stop sign in­di­cate the bus is stopped and chil­dren are get­ting on or off. Drivers in both direc­tions must stop their ve­hi­cles and wait un­til the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is mov­ing be­fore they can start driv­ing again.

Pre­pare for emer­gen­cies and take a first aid class

Know what the emer­gency plan is at your child’s school in case a dis­as­ter or an un­fore­seen event oc­curs. De­velop a fam­ily emer­gency plan so ev­ery­one will know who to con­tact and where to go if some­thing hap­pens while chil­dren are at school and par­ents are at work. De­tails are avail­able at red­cross. org/pre­pare. The Red Cross First Aid App pro­vides in­stant ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion on han­dling the most com­mon first aid emer­gen­cies whether it be be­fore, dur­ing or after school. Down­load the app for free by search­ing for Amer­i­can Red Cross in your app store or at red­ Learn and prac­tice First Aid and CPR/AED skills by tak­ing a course (red­cross. org/takea­class) so you can help save a life. pro­vides emo­tional sup­port to vic­tims of dis­as­ters, sup­plies about 40 per­cent of the na­tion’s blood, teaches skills that save lives, pro­vides in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian aid and sup­ports mil­i­tary mem­bers and their fam­i­lies. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that de­pends on vol­un­teers and the gen­eros­ity of the Amer­i­can pub­lic to per­form its mis­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit red­cross. org/arkansas, red­ or fol­low us on Twit­ter @ ArkRedCross.

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