Back to school safety with Hinkler
25 January 2022
It’s nearly back-to-school time! The roads are getting busier, people are back from holidays, school buses and public transit are on regular routes, and more people are out and about once more.
As you prepare for that first day back, Hinkler is here to share some tips to make the start of your 2022 school year a safe one.
Whether your kids walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, you should make safety a part of the conversation.
Here are 10 tips for back-to-school safety:
- Make sure your child knows basic contact details such as your name, address, and contact number. You never know when an emergency may arise! Knowing where home is and any nearby landmarks is a bonus.
- If you are collecting your child from school, advise them where the pick-up point will be and the safest way to get to you.
- Remind children not to talk with strangers or anyone who offers a lift home unless it has been prearranged with yourself. If a stranger does approach your child, make sure they know to immediately report the incident to you or a teacher.
- When your child is ready, encourage them to make their own way to school. This is a great way for them to build independence. For some children this will be earlier than others, but it doesn’t matter what their age is – as long as they are comfortable!
- Practice traffic awareness! Teach your child those essential crossing rules: always cross the road at crossings or traffic lights and look both ways before crossing. It’s even better if they look out for a crossing guard to help out!
- If your child is cycling to school, ensure they wear bike safety equipment that is fitted correctly, especially helmets. Make sure they obey the rules of the road, like coming to a complete stop before crossing the street, and walking bikes across the street.
- Plan out and practice a safe walking or riding route to school using public footpaths and streets.
- Vigilance is key, especially for parents! Remember to be on the lookout for school zone signals and always obey the speed limits when driving. Children can easily get distracted and stumble into danger zones.
- Try and encourage your child to walk or ride to school with other students. There is strength in numbers, and it’s a great way for them to get to know their classmates.
- Make sure your child has a backpack that is an appropriate size and shape for them. It should be comfortable to wear and supportive. And avoid overstuffing the backpack! It should weigh no more than 5% to 10% of your child's body weight.
We recognize this school year will (once again!) look a bit different for families, but let’s work hard to keep it safe for everyone. Whether you’re a driver, pedestrian, cyclist, or bus rider – stay vigilant!
Good luck with the school year!