August marks the start of Back to School Safety Month, a nationwide campaign dedicated to raising awareness about safety as our kids head back to school. Educating ourselves and our families about potential hazards our children may face is of utmost importance. As personal injury attorneys, we have had numerous cases where young people have suffered preventable accidents and injuries.
As we celebrate Back to School Safety Month, let’s review some essential safety tips for our children.
Most children rely on the bus for their daily commute to school. If your child takes the bus, ensure they know to wait at the designated bus stop and not to chase after a moving bus. Teach your child to sit quietly and remain seated while the bus is in motion. Remind them never to put their hands or objects out of the windows or throw anything out of the bus. If seat belts are available, ensure your child wears one throughout the ride.
Walking or Biking
If your child walks or bikes to school, instill the importance of using sidewalks and following traffic laws. Teach them to cross only at designated crosswalks with crossing guards. According to SAFE KIDS, bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent. Please remind your child never to use their phone or headphones while walking near traffic.
Driving to school is often a teenager’s first taste of independence, but it comes with risks. While we cannot control all the factors that affect our children’s safety on the road, we can help them develop habits that minimize those risks. If your child drives to school, remind them constantly to wear their seatbelt, keep their phone out of reach, follow traffic rules, and be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and speeding.
Slips and Falls
Although slips and falls may seem minor, they can result in significant pain and suffering for students. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, slips and falls are the third most common cause of unintentional injuries in the United States. By educating children about the risks and prevention methods, we can reduce the number of school injuries. Emphasize the importance of proper footwear, reporting hazards, and discouraging running to keep children alert, cautious, and injury-free.
School Playground Safety
Playground injuries can range from minor bruises to severe head injuries. Encourage your child to follow basic playground rules, check the equipment for safety, and play safely with other children. Teach them to take turns, avoid pushing, and respect others’ boundaries. Ensure your child understands that risky behavior, such as jumping off the highest point or climbing too high, is unacceptable.
Swimming Pool Safety
Swimming pools can be a source of fun and exercise for kids but can pose risks. Serious injuries can occur from falling on slippery walkways, diving boards, and ladders. Diving or jumping into shallow water is also a significant cause of injury. Before allowing students to use the school swimming pool, they should be taught how to swim and the safety measures in place. Students should know how to safely enter and exit the pool, stay afloat, and call for help if necessary.
School Security Measures
Unfortunately, schools can be targets for violence. Look for a school with adequate security measures, such as controlled access to the building and camera monitoring. Encourage your child to report any suspicious activity to a teacher or principal. This could include an unfamiliar person on school grounds, a concerning social media post, or a fellow student behaving unusually.
As students gear up for an exciting sports season, it is crucial to prioritize school safety and reduce the risk of injuries. This includes ensuring all players have properly fitted gear, educating them on the game’s rules, promoting hydration, and maintaining well-maintained facilities and equipment. Schools must always prioritize the safety of student-athletes.
Back to School Safety Month is an essential time to focus on the safety of our children as they return to school. As responsible parents and guardians, we must educate ourselves and our children about potential hazards and take proactive measures to prevent accidents and injuries. Follow these recommendations to provide our children with a safe and enjoyable school year. The team of dedicated personal injury attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault wishes your children a safe and successful school season. In the unfortunate event of an injury, we encourage you to schedule a free case evaluation with our highly skilled legal team without delay.
Jonathan Ashton, Partner and Personal Injury Attorney, began his law career at GT&B in 2007 as a law clerk. He was hired as an associate immediately after passing the Ohio Bar in 2008. Jonathan practices in Personal Injury, representing clients who have been injured and need justice and compensation for them to move forward in their lives.