It’s that time of year again the kids are back to school, and the parents are back to worrying about their littles. With a few back-to-school safety tips for Southwest Florida students and parents, everyone can breathe a collective sigh of relief this new school year, knowing that safety is a top priority.
Avoiding the Risk of Injury
To understand safety, we need to be aware of the kinds of injuries and accidents that can happen, so we know how to avoid them and minimize risk. It all starts with school shopping before the kids even reach the first day of school. When shopping, be aware of your surroundings, especially in the parking lot. Parking lot accidents are much more common than many of us care to admit. There are many risks to watch for, from falls, car accidents, and predators. Always have a plan when you are out.
School Bus and Transportation Injuries
Did you know that more than 90 percent of students use the school bus system each day to get to and from school? With so many students using this form of transportation, an accident is a definite possibility. To avoid this, practice school bus safety. Walk to the bus stop with your child or at least walk the route with them before the first day of school, review bus stop safety, and if you have concerns, be sure to bring them up with the school.
Other modes of transportation are also used often, and the same safety concerns should be shared with over avenues as well. For example, if your child rides to school with a friend, make sure they understand they need to wear their seatbelt. Likewise, if your teen is driving to school, talk with them about the dangers of distracted driving.
Many kids also participate in extracurricular activities after school. A significant percentage of injuries happen at a school event or extracurricular activity each year, whether it is a sporting event, field trip, or other group gathering or project. Be proactive when it comes to your child’s safety and talk with them about what to do when different scenarios pop up.
When it comes to liability at a school, what happens when there is an injury on campus is pretty clear. So, to mitigate risk, schools do all they can to keep the students safe. Unfortunately, however, injuries can still occur.
If a student falls, for example, in the hallway, the parking lot, or cafeteria, you must look at the cause of the fall. It could be due to inadequate lighting, an uneven walking surface, or slippery conditions. If this is the case, the school needs to be more proactive when it comes to building maintenance. Talk with your child about paying attention when walking around at school. Knowing what to look for is a good first line of defense when it comes to avoiding injury.
When you participate in sports, there is room for injury, as with any other extracurricular activity. It could be due to competitive opponents and team members or even faulty equipment.
While not all injuries are avoidable, having a conversation with your child can greatly minimize the risk of injury while on and off-campus.