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Back to School Safety Tips
Whether your school-age child walks, bikes, or rides the bus to school, be sure to go over basic safety rules.
"Accidents happen, but many of them could be avoided," says Richard Byrd, MD, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. "Many injuries can be prevented or minimized by taking necessary precautions. For example, wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%."
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Plan a walking route with your child before school starts. Choose a way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, one with adult crossing guards.
- Tell your child to stay away from vacant lots, fields, and other places where there aren't many people around.
- Have your child walk to and from school with a sibling, friend, or neighbor.
- Teach your child to obey all traffic signals, signs, and traffic officers.
Bike Safety Tips
- Make sure your biker wears a bicycle helmet that meets U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission standards.
- Be sure your child rides on the right in the same direction as auto traffic and uses appropriate hand signals.
- Teach your child to stop and look left, right, and left again before entering a street.
School Bus Safety Tips
- If your child takes the bus, tell them to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Make sure your child checks to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing.
- Instruct your child to not move around on the bus and stay seated with arms and head inside the bus.
- Teach your child to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
Choosing the Right Backpack
To prevent injury to your school-age child's back, be sure to choose the right backpack. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you choose a backpack with wide-padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Your child's backpack should never weigh more than 10% to 20% of their body weight. Make sure your student packs light and organizes items in all the compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. Consider a rolling backpack for students who must tote a heavy load.
Kelsey Kids, Healthy Kids
Kelsey-Seybold has a proud tradition of caring for Houston's children and their families for more than 70 years. Our pediatricians are specialists in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. To schedule an appointment, call 713-442-0427.
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