American Red Cross shares student safety tips for upcoming school year
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - As many families in the Heartland are preparing for the new school year, the American Red Cross offers several helpful tips to ensure your students’ safety.
Safety begins before students enter the school building.
If your student rides 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. They should only board the bus after it has come to a complete stop and the driver has instructed them to get on. They should only board their assigned bus, never an alternate one.
The American Red Cross also advises all children should stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus. They should cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk. It is important students never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
When students 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. The Red Cross says 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 students to walk to school with a friend or classmate.
If your student goes to school in a car, they should always wear a seat belt. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly, and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
If you have a teenager who will be driving to school, the Red Cross says parents should mandate they use seat belts. They should not use their cellphone to text or make calls and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
If your student rides their bike to school, they should always wear a helmet and ride on the right side of the roadway, in the same direction as the traffic is going.
Interim Executive Director of American Red Cross serving Northeast Arkansas David Gilkeson says there are some other special steps parents of younger kids should take, especially if their children are going to school for the first time.
“They should make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 911,” Gilkeson said. “And teach them not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.”
The Red Cross advises families to develop an emergency plan and know what the emergency plan is at your child’s school in case a disaster or an unforeseen event occurs. Everyone should know who to contact and where to go if something happens while children are at school and parents are at work.
Learning first aid and CPR skills can help save a life. The free Red Cross First Aid app includes instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies whether it be before, during or after school.
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