In a matter of weeks, kids across Pennsylvania will be settling into a new school year. This can mean new schedules, new teachers and possibly entirely new schools.

However, one thing that remains the same every year is the importance of being safe while going to and from schools. Whether your child drives, buses or walks to school, it is crucial that you discuss with them how to stay safe this year.

Tips for young drivers

If your child drives to school, it can be wise to set some ground rules to keep your child and the others around him or her safe. This can include:

  • Wearing a seat belt
  • Complying with speed limits and other traffic laws, especially in school zones
  • Keeping the phone out of reach or turned off
  • Limiting the number of young passengers who can ride in the car

Tips for kids who ride the bus

Safety on school buses is critical for the millions of children who get to or from school on the bus. If your child rides the bus, make sure he or she knows to:

  • Buckle up, if there are seat belts available
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off
  • Stay in the designated bus stop area while waiting
  • Remain seated during the ride
  • Don’t be distracting
  • Wait for the driver to signal before crossing a street after getting off the bus

Tips for young pedestrians

Kids who walk to school may be old enough to go without their parents. Whether this is the first year they will do this or not, parents should teach and remind young pedestrians of the following safety tips.

  • Stay on the sidewalk
  • Look both ways before crossing the street
  • Comply with traffic lights and crossing guards
  • Wear bright clothing to stay visible in low light
  • Don’t jump out into the street
  • Don’t assume cars will stop at crosswalks
  • Walk in pairs or groups

While we cannot control the actions of drivers or prevent every car accident from occurring, we can teach our kids these habits that can help them get home or to school safely.