Get back to school safely with these tips from the Red Cross | WJHL
(WHNT) – Are you going back to school soon? The American Red Cross Tennessee Region has some tips to help students, parents, and community members stay safe.
School bus safety
- Bus riders should arrive at their stop early and walk away from the sidewalk while waiting for the bus to arrive
- Cross the street at the corner, obey the traffic lights and stay on the crosswalk
- Never rush down the street or cross parked cars
- Students should only board the bus once it has come to a complete stop and the driver or other staff member has told them to get on
- Students should board their own bus only, not an alternate bus (unless instructed otherwise by the school)
- Students must always remain in sight
Drive, bike or walk to school
- Always wear a seat belt; young children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap belt is snug (the Red Cross has said this typically occurs for children ages 8 to 12 and taller than 4′ 9″); children must also travel in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old
- Parents of teenagers who drive to school should make their teenagers wear seat belts; drivers should also refrain from texting, using mobile phones, eating or drinking while driving
- Motorcyclists must always wear a helmet and ride on the right with circulation (cycling in the same direction as the vehicles)
- Walkers must cross the street at intersections and take the routes where the school has placed school crossing guards; parents should accompany young children to school, as well as those taking new routes or attending new schools – at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get to school safely
- Walkers should be reminded not to talk to strangers or accept rides from anyone they do not know; parents should arrange for walkers to walk to school with a friend or classmate
Slow down, prepare to stop
- Drive slowly and carefully, especially in residential areas and school zones; children will walk or cycle in the area
- Remember that flashing yellow lights on a school bus mean the bus is about to stop, so slow down and be prepared to stop; flashing red lights and an extended stop sign mean the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions are required to stop and remain stopped until the lights go out, the stop sign retracts and the bus moves. In Tennessee, the only scenario where this rule does not apply if a bus stops on a road with four or more lanes and the road is divided by a barrier or an unpaved area; drivers approaching the bus from an oncoming direction are not required to stop, but should exercise caution. Fines for overtaking a stopped school bus range from $250 to $999 in Tennessee.
Prepare for emergencies
- Know your child’s school emergency plan in the event of a disaster or unforeseen event
- Create a family emergency plan so everyone knows who to contact and where to go if disaster strikes while the kids are in school and the parents are at work. A help guide is available on the Red Cross website.
Learn first aid
- Download the Red Cross First Aid app (Google Play | Apple iOS/iPadOS) – it provides instant access to information on handling common first aid emergencies before, during and after school
- Learn and practice first aid and CPR/AED techniques through Red Cross courses; find one near you here.