With primary schools starting back this week, it’s important to ensure your children are travelling to and from school safely! Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown that nearly 40% of injuries sustained by 5-14 year olds take place outside their own or someone’s home, and 30% whilst at school.
With these statistics in mind, it’s important to ensure your child is aware of the risks when making their way to school each day – may this be walking, riding a bike, or taking the bus. Travel safety is an increasingly growing issue, with compulsory seatbelts having been introduced to school buses in Melbourne last September, however it’s not just buses that hold safety risks, with walking and riding a bike presenting other, equally as important road dangers to be mindful of.
Although there are many safety risks involved in a child’s travels to school, many accidents can be prevented if safety awareness is brought to their attention. Getting to and from school is an important part of a child’s school life, so be sure they take proper safety precautions and check out our back-to-school safety tips below:
Plan a walking route to school
Planning a walking route to school or the bus stop creates familiarity for children, and by choosing the most direct way with the fewest street crossings, both you and your child will feel more at ease going about your travels. Walk the route with them beforehand and make a point to never take short cuts.
Teach your child to never talk or accept rides from strangers; a stranger being anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.
Stop, Look and Listen!
This is always the number one rule when crossing the road. Never attempt to cross without first looking in both directions. It’s also important to teach your children to obey all traffic signals and signs, whether walking, bike riding or taking the bus. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.
Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, watch for cars and wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the doors.
Phone number awareness
Be sure you child knows his or her phone number and address, your work number, the number of a trusted adult family friend, and how to call triple zero for emergencies. And if not from memory, ensure your child has all these numbers stored somewhere like a school diary or mobile phone (if they’re old enough to have one)!
Encourage your children to take safety precautions when making their way to and from school this year and help them start the new school year free from tumbles and tears!