As school start nears, be certain children are safe - Tucson Local Media: El Sol

As school start nears, be certain children are safe

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Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:00 pm

A barrage of back-to-school supplies in the stores remind us a new school year is fast approaching.

Northwest Fire/Rescue District asks people to make certain children are headed back to school safely.

Pedestrian/traffic accidents are the third-leading cause of injury death for Arizona children under the age of 14.

"If your young child will be walking to school, practice the route together several times," a release said. "Make sure your child checks appropriately for traffic and follows other safety rules. Ask 'what if' questions about potential problems, such as a stranger offering a ride, and try to find other children your child can walk with to and from school."

If you drive your child to or from school, work out a route which allows you to drop off and pick your child up on the same side of the street as the school, or be certain he or she uses a crosswalk with a crossing guard, the release continued. "Always make sure everyone in the vehicle wears a seat belt."

Before the third grade, most children do not have the maturity or physical skills necessary to safely ride a bicycle in the street. If you have determined your child is ready to ride his or her bike to school, make certain the bike is the correct size for the rider, is properly maintained and has reflectors.

Students who ride a bus also need safe habits.

"Remember, children learn best by example," the release continued. "Use crosswalks, fasten your seatbelt and obey traffic signals, signs and laws."

For additional safety information, call Northwest Fire/Rescue prevention office.

Make sure your child knows:

• to look in all directions before crossing the street;

• to obey all traffic signals and signs;

• to use crosswalks whenever possible;

• to never enter the street from between cars or behind bushes and shrubs;

• to be extra alert during bad weather.

Teach KIDS to:

• always wear a helmet when they ride a bicycle; it's not only safer, it's the law;

• stop and look left-right-left before entering the street;

• ride single file on the right side — with the flow of traffic — and signal for turns and stops;

• keep both hands on the handlebars;

• walk bikes across busy intersections;

• obey all traffic laws and signs.

Bus riders should:

• allow plenty of time to get to the bus stop to avoid having to run toward the bus;

• stay out of the street while waiting for a bus and avoid horseplay;

• once on the bus, remain seated until it comes to a complete stop;

• use the handrail to exit; this is the most common place for fall injuries on buses;

• walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus if it's necessary to cross the street.

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