Red Cross Of­fers Back-To-School Safety Tips

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Staff Re­ports

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, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while wait­ing for 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

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 a teenager is go­ing to drive to school, par­ents should man­date that they use seat belts. Driv­ers should not use their cell­phone to text or make calls and should avoid eat­ing or drink­ing while driv­ing.

Some stu­dents ride their bikes 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

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 red­cross.org/ apps. Learn and prac­tice first aid and CPR/AED skills by tak­ing a course (red­cross. org/takea­class) so you can help save a life. THE AMER­I­CAN RED CROSS SHEL­TERS, FEEDS AND 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, PLEASE VISIT RED­CROSS.ORG/ARKANSAS, RED­CROSS.ORG.

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