While you’re scrambling to pull together fall clothes and all those school supplies you are probably sorting through what transportation options will be available this year for your children. Here are a few safety tips to consider for your child whether they walk or ride a bicycle to school.
- If your child is riding a bike to school, you must make sure that he/she wears a properly fitted helmet. The helmet should fit snuggly, be flat on top of the head and have a buckled chin strap. It should not move up and down or from side to side. Make sure to replace any helmets that have been in an accident. Helmets only do their job once! Most importantly, make sure you have something reflective on your helmets!
- Helmets belong on the head when riding a bicycle, but not when playing on a playground. Teach your child to take the helmet off before he or she plays on a playground. Bike helmets can get stuck in openings on playground equipment, causing a child to strangle.
- One item that doesn’t belong near a child’s neck is a drawstring. So, look closely at your child’s jackets, “hoodies,” or sweatshirts to make sure there are no drawstrings in the upper portion of the garment. You also should take a look at waist or bottom drawstrings on your child’s jackets and other upper clothing. New regulations specify that you shouldn’t be able to see more than 3 inches of the string when the clothes are stretched wide. There have been several reports of children dying due to the drawstring on their clothing became tangled on playground slides, school bus doors and other objects.
- If you walking, you should have similar concerns – making sure your child is seen while walking home is even more important as its beginning to get darker earlier over the next few weeks. There are several things you can consider. There is clothing/jackets that have reflective materials built right into the garment, or you can supplement your childrens clothing with something like FlashBrite. FlashBrite is reflective stick-on patches available in several different stylish designs that reflect light. These patches are made of the 3M™ Sotchlite™ Reflective Material which can be seen from over 1000 feet away when in contact with direct light – highly retro-reflective! You can put these reflective patches on your kid’s bicycles, helmets, backpacks, lunch boxes, clothing and more!
There are so many things available to help your child remain safe whether they are walking or riding a bicycle home from school this Fall.