With the first day of school approaching, now is a great time to go over safety precautions for your kids, so they are prepared for the new school year. The National Safety Council has some transportation tips for a new school year.

For children who walk to school, always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and make eye contact with drivers before crossing at intersections or crosswalks. Remember to stay alert and avoid distracted walking. 

Children riding bikes to school should always wear a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing, so other drivers see them. Ride on the right side of the road with traffic in a single line. Come to a complete stop before crossing and walk the bike across the street. As always, stay alert and don’t get distracted. 

School bus riders would stand 6 feet away from the curb while waiting. It’s a good idea to arrive at least five minutes early at the bus stop. Never walk behind the bus; if something is dropped near the bus, tell the bus driver instead of trying to get it. And, of course, if a stranger asks a child to get into their car and give them a ride to school, they must always say no.

Parents should also choose backpacks wisely and weigh less than 5% to 10% of the child’s body weight. Ask them to wear the straps on both shoulders for even weight distribution and to avoid being uncomfortable. Be cautious of rolling backpacks as they can create tripping hazards in hallways. 

Be sure to make this a great, safe, and fun school year with the end of summer nearing its end.