As school summer break comes to an end and families prepare for their children to return to school, it’s a good time to think and prepare to put safety at the top of the “get ready” list. To assist you and your family, we’ve compiled a short checklist of safety items to consider:
• Wait five giant steps from the road, and when the school bus arrives wait until the driver says so to board.
• When boarding the school bus, go straight to your seat and sit facing the front and do what the school bus driver tells you.
• When exiting the bus, look out for cars. When you’re off, take five giant steps from the school bus.
• Look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming and wait for the driver to signal it’s safe to cross.
• Do not walk in the bus driver’s blind spot – this is the area from the front of the bus to 10 feet in front of the bus.
• Walk on the sidewalk or, if there is none, walk facing traffic.
• Don’t push or shove others when you walk.
• When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars and do not cross if a car is coming.
• Use a crosswalk whenever you can, especially one patrolled by a crossing guard.
• If you must use a cell phone, stop walking, drivers use their phones also and both of you being distracted can lead to a very dangerous situation.
• When crossing a street, if listening to music, turn it off and take at least one earphone out of your ear so you can hear oncoming traffic.
• Walk in groups and avoid talking to strangers. If a stranger does approach, children should know to distance themselves and report the incident to a teacher or parent/guardian.
• Always wear a helmet; it’s the law in Florida for children less than 16 years of age.
• Make sure the helmet fits correctly, it should be snug and have a buckled chinstrap.
• Make sure the children buckle their chinstrap when riding.
• Ride on bike paths or on the sidewalk.
• Parents should be cautious of children’s outerwear clothing that have drawstrings at the hood or neck area that could catch on playground equipment
• Play nicely, no pushing or shoving
May you and your children enjoy a safe and productive school year, from your Maitland Fire Rescue Department. Our family helping yours – whatever it takes.
— Dennis Marshall, Fire Marshal