“When kids go back to school, parents should make sure the child
knows his or her home phone number and address, parents’ work
contact information, how to get in touch with another trusted adult
and how to dial 9-1-1,” said Monica Grugett, youth education
director. “Parents should also teach their children not to talk to
strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.”
If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their
bus stop early and stand away from the curb.
Other safety steps for students include:
- Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop.
- Only board your bus and never an alternate one.
- Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk
behind the bus.
- Cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and
staying in the crosswalk.
Motorists should know what the yellow and red bus signals
- Yellow flashing lights — the bus is getting ready to
stop, and motorists should slow down and be alert.
- Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign — the bus
is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in
both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the
lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is
moving before they can start driving again.
If a teenager is going to drive to
school, parents should mandate that they use seat belts.
Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make
calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
All drivers should be aware that children are out walking or
biking to school and slow down, especially in residential
areas and school zones.
[to top of second column]
Biking and Walking
Students who ride their bike to
school should always wear a helmet, obey all traffic signs and ride
on the right in the same direction as traffic.
Those who walk to school should only cross the street at an
intersection, and use a route along which the school has placed
crossing guards. Parents should walk young children and children
taking new routes or attending new schools at least for the first
week to ensure they know how to get there safely.
can happen anytime
Talk to your child’s teacher or school
principal about the school’s emergency plan and how you will be
notified if an emergency happens at the school.
Remind your child
that the most important thing they can do if an emergency happens at
school is to stay calm and listen to the direction of their teachers
Tape a copy of your family’s contact numbers and
meeting place(s) to the inside of your child’s binder or homework
notebook and in their book bag.
[Text received; ERIN MILLER, REGIONAL
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, AMERICAN RED CROSS - CENTRAL ILLINOIS