Two of our top priorities as parents are to ensure our children get an excellent education and that they’re safe and sound while doing so. As such, with the time quickly approaching for them to go back to the classroom, it’s imperative that we set them up for continued success. Walking to school is a great way to develop independence for older kids, but it can also be dangerous. Make sure your child is ready for this milestone with these back-to-school safety tips for kids walking to school.
Always Use Crosswalks
One of the first good practices to instill in your kids is crossing only at the designated crosswalks. While there are plenty of more creative ways to cross the street, these areas are the only spots known to be safe in the presence of car traffic. Jaywalking halfway through the block increases the risk involved with those backing out of driveways or doing construction work. So, if your child knows to keep an eye out for the striped, white lines when crossing, they’re already much safer on their way to school.
Stick to Streets With Sidewalks
They’ll also want to walk along streets with paths or sidewalks rather than those that aren’t paved. These walkways signify that an area gets a lot of foot traffic and always has someone nearby to help them should they need it. These streets will also be some of the quickest and most effective routes to the schoolyard. Mapping out your child’s route ahead of time can help ensure that you know exactly where they’re going and whether it’s the safest possible path for them.
Walk With a Group of Friends
Every kid loves hanging out with friends, and walking to school is a coveted opportunity to do just that. When your child is with their peers, they’re much safer than they would be on their own. This is because they’re more engaged with what’s happening around them as they interact with the group. So, encouraging them to get together with others in the morning, even if it’s just a single buddy, can go a long way.
Be As Visible as Possible
Another crucial tip for kids walking to school is to make themselves visible to others. This is especially important when crossing the street since drivers will need to see your child to ensure they stop for them safely. Whether it be a flashy backpack, a brighter shirt, or light-up shoes, finding some way to make them stand out can keep them from getting hurt.
Keep Connected With a Smart Watch
Above all, encourage them to stay in contact with you. While smartphones work well for teens, they aren’t as accessible for younger kids. So, consider purchasing a TickTalk kids emergency watch. These devices provide everything your child could ever want in a phone: calls, texting, music, and games. All with an easy-to-use and simple-to-monitor watch. They can keep you updated and ensure you know exactly where your child is and whether they’re safe.