Back to school is almost here. When preparing for back to school, your child’s safety is the number one priority. Besides discussing back to school clothes and school supplies, take the time to discuss some of these safety precautions with your children:


  1. For Walkers:
    1. If sidewalks are available, children should use them, and avoid walking on roadways. If your child has to walk in the street, they should walk against traffic.
    2. Be sure that your child is visible on the roadway. Warn them not to dart out into the street from behind trees or vehicles.
    3. Stress the importance to your child of looking both ways before crossing the road. Your child should also stay within any crosswalks available.
    4. If this is your child’s first year walking to school, do a practice walk with your child prior to the start of school, so that your child is comfortable with the route, and knows the hazards to avoid.


  1. For Bikers:
    1. In Pennsylvania, the law requires children under 12 to wear a helmet. However, if your child is over 12, they should still wear a helmet when biking, to protect from serious injury. Be sure that the helmet is fitted and secured properly.
    2. Emphasize that your child has to obey the rules of the road. Your child should obey traffic signals, traffic control devices, follow the flow of traffic, and make the proper hand gestures to indicate to other cars their intentions.
    3. Your child should be visible in traffic. Consider having your child wear a bright jacket or backpack. Your child’s bike should have reflectors or blinking lights to make them visible to cars and pedestrians.
    4. If a bike lane is available on your child’s route, encourage your child to use it.
    5. If this is your child’s first year biking to school, do a dry run before school starts, and go biking with your child to show them the route.


  1. For Bus Riders:
    1. Your child should stand up to 6 feet away from the curb when the bus approaches.
    2. If the bus has seatbelts, your child should wear them.
    3. Explain to your child that they should not dart out in front of the bus or cross in front of the bus.
    4. Your child should remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop before standing up.


  1. A Few Words About Phones…
    1. Your child should avoid walking or biking while using their phone. If your child has to make an emergency phone call or text, they should stop and find a safe location to make the communication.
    2. Your child should avoid walking or biking with headphones. Headphones can distract your child from paying attention and responding to hazards around them.

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Image: Paper Concierge
This image is a dramatization. This article is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact Graham & Mauer, P.C. today.