September means heading back to school for many families. While a new school year is an exciting time for children and parents, it can also be a stressful time for many families. The following are some back-to-school safety tips for parents and caregivers to keep in mind as they send their children off to school:
- Drive safely. Always wear your seat belt and never text and drive.
- Enforce safe riding habits. Children and other passengers should also wear a seat belt while riding in a car. In fact, Illinois law requires that all passengers, including backseat passengers, wear a seat belt.
- Check the playground for safety. According to the National Safety Council, more than 230,000 children visited hospital emergency rooms because of playground injuries in 2009 alone. The vast majority of playground injuries (about 80%) are sustained in falls. The National Safety Council recommends playgrounds with wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, and rubber mats; parents and caregivers should avoid playgrounds with concrete surfacing.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk facing the traffic. Remind children to stop and look left, right, and left again to see if cars are coming. Parents and caregivers should practice walking to school with their child as well.
- Teach children bus safety. Remind children not to run into the path of a bus to pick up dropped items and to look both ways before stepping off the bus to make sure that there are no cars passing on the side of the road. Parents and caregivers can check the safety record of their child’s school bus by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s A&I Online Safety Measurement System “Carrier Search” tool at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/Data/Search.aspx.
- Children should always wear a properly fitted bike helmet.
- Remind children to never talk to strangers.
- Avoid any drawstrings around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts. Drawstrings around the neck can present a choking hazard. Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should be no longer than three inches to prevent catching in car doors or getting caught on playground equipment.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to promoting child safety and protecting the victims of personal injury accidents. If your child was injured as a result of someone’s negligence, we will fight to get you maximum money damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claims. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.