Injury Research and Policy Back-to-School Safety :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Back-to-School Safety

When summer comes to an end, children get ready to go back to school. This is a great time for parents to talk to their kids about how to safely travel to and from school. Following a few safety tips can help prevent children from suffering serious injuries.

School Bus Safety Tips

  • Children riding the bus to school should learn and practice a few safety rules for getting on and off the bus.
  • Get to the bus stop early. Do not run to the bus.
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before walking toward it.
  • If crossing the street, wait for a signal from the bus driver.  Look both ways to make sure there is no moving traffic from either direction.
  • Always cross in front of the bus so the driver can see you.
  • If the bus has lap and shoulder belts, use them.
  • Once the bus is in motion, remain in your seat.
  • If the window is open, keep your arms and head inside the bus at all times.
  • Do not stand up to get off the bus until it has completely stopped.
  • Only get off the bus at your assigned spot.

Walking Safety Tips

  • Children should only walk to school alone if they are old enough and ready to make the walk safely.
  • Children are not ready to walk to school without an adult until they are at least 10 years old.
  • Younger kids cannot be trusted to make smart traffic choices on their own.
  • Plan and practice a safe walking route with your child until she knows it well.
  • Use streets with sidewalks, crosswalks and crossing guards. Avoid as many intersections as possible.
  • Have children walk with a friend or in a group.
  • Talk to your child about what to do if they are approached by a stranger.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Drivers should be aware of children walking to school or to the bus stop. Everyone can follow a few safety tips to help kids get to school safely.
  • When backing out of the driveway, watch for children walking to school or to a bus stop.
  • On streets without crossing guards, watch out for children trying to cross the street.
  • Be careful on streets without sidewalks or streets with on-street parking. It might be hard to notice a child behind a car.
  • Be alert. Children may dart into the street without looking.
  • Slow down.

Obey school bus laws. In Ohio, all drivers must stop at least 10 feet from a bus that is picking up or dropping off kids.

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000