Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2012

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

Reading, Writing and Safety?
Safe Kids Kansas Gives Tips 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 automatically 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. 

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 and 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

Driving Children to School

For more information about back to school safety, call 785-296-1223 or visit www.safekids.org. Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.