Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Reading, Writing and... Safety?

Safe Kids gives tips to parents for Back to School Safety

Topeka, Kan. -- Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents to take time out to teach and review safety guidelines with their kids to get them back to school safely.  “Whether it’s their first day of kindergarten, or they are returning after summer vacation, with this change in routine it’s important to review safety tips together.  Don’t assume your child will intuitively know the right steps to take to be safe,” says Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. 

School Bus Safety

“School buses are, by far, the safest way for kids of all ages to get to and from school,” Sage says.  School buses are designed with safety features different than regular passenger vehicles. They are large and highly visible, and the padded, high-backed seats on school buses are close together to create protective compartments, like egg cartons.  Sage suggests you explain this to your child so they understand why on a school bus they may not be buckling up with seat belts.  “It’s a different form of protection, but it can send a mixed message to kids when they realize they’re not buckling up in a vehicle.”  Nationally, though, there is momentum toward requiring seat belts on school buses in the future.  There are studies and changes afoot that suggest a future where seat belts will be required equipment on school buses. 

More significant dangers lie outside the school bus. “More children are killed or injured crossing the street at bus stops than riding on a school bus,” says Sage.  “Teach your children about the 10-foot danger zone around the school bus, where the driver can’t see children on the ground.” Young children should take eight giant steps away from the bus to be sure the bus driver can see them. Older kids should look to the bus driver for an “OK” sign before crossing.

Safe Kids Kansas also reminds drivers to obey state laws that prohibit passing a stopped school bus.   Children should also be reminded to:

Walking to School

Safe Kids Kansas recommends that children under 10 never cross the street alone. Make sure you follow these additional safety guidelines:

Riding Bikes to School

Whether out of necessity or for fun, many children choose to ride their bikes to school.  Unfortunately, bicycles are the most common sport/recreational product involved in injuries among five to 14-year olds. 

To keep children safe, Safe Kids Kansas offers these safety tips for children riding bicycles to school:

Driving Children to School

For more information about back to school safety, call 785-296-1223 or visit www.usa.safekids.org.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14.   Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of  Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.)  Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.