School Traveling Safety Tips
Backpack Safety For Kids
Family Dinner Time Conversation Cards
We have a list of tips to help keep your child safe as they travel to and from school.
Walking or biking to school is a great way to get in a little exercise. But safety rules are very important.
Here is a list of our tips for
children that walk to and from school
children who ride their bikes to and from school
children who are driven to and from school
Traveling To and From School Safety Tips
- Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
- Teach children to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
- Make sure your child's walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing
guards at every intersection.
- Teach children to sit and not move around on the school bus.
- Teach children to respect traffic lights and stop signs.
- Teach children to always check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.
- If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week
to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
- Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
- All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat
or booster seat.
- Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness as long as possible and then ride
in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when she has
reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top
harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat.
- Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- All children under 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must
drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the
front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat
if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.
- Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the
bus or to the school building.
- Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits
properly (usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12
years of age). This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back
with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the
middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat; the lap belt is low and snug
across the thighs, and not the stomach.
- Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from
school. You should require seat belt use, limit the number of teen passengers, do not
allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction;
and limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with
your state’s graduated driver license law and consider the use of a parent-teen driver
agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. . For a sample parent-teen
driver agreement, see the last two pages of the AAP Policy Statement, "The Teen Driver."
- If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all
times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts,
encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
- Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and
they may be difficult to roll in snow.
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
- Use appropriate hand signals.
- Know the "rules of the road." www.aap.org/family/bicycle.htm
- Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and
less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk
to school without adult supervision.
- In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,”
in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.