Back To School Tips by NH – Defense Lawyers Shepherd and Osborne

Back To School Safety Tips for NH – From The Law Office of Shepherd and Osborne NH

New Hampshire schools open for the 2012-2013 school year the week of 8/27/12.  Here at the Law Office of Shepherd and Osborne in Nashua NH we wanted to share some tips and insight regarding back to school preparations. I have a child that is getting ready to go back to school and I thought it would be good to share what I have learned to prepare him for school.

As your child becomes a young adult it is important to encourage them to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking! Back-To-School is the perfect time to remind kids about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. The Century Council and The General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center offers some free publications.

School Bus Safety

School buses are a fun time for kids to mingle with friends on their way to and from school. There are approximately 24 million students in the United States riding buses to school.

Rule #1 is to be ready early to avoid stress from rushing around and forgetting things. Children should not be in the street when waiting for the bus. There should not be any playing in the street while waiting for the bus to arrive. Look at your surroundings for any other potential issues (where is the safest place to stand). If on the opposite side of the street you should WAIT until the bus driver gives you the thumbs up to cross as he or she can see farther down the road for motorists and that the bus is completely stopped.

Know what bus number your child is on and what route the bus takes every day. Let your child know to move to their seats quickly and orderly. Buckle up if applicable and face forward, keep voices down so you can hear and obey any commands the bus driver gives. Stay in your seats at all times while the bus is moving and always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting out of your seat.

All passengers should also know where the emergency exits are. On most buses, there are 4 exits. The front (main entrance and exit) 2 side exits through the windows on either side of the bus and the windows are usually larger in size and lastly the rear door. When leaving the bus, children should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before exiting.

Bike Riding and Walking To School

Walking to school is necessity for many kids. It is good form of exercise and allows them to get out and reflect on their day.  If your child is walking to and from school each day they should walk the same route and use the buddy system if possible. Its safer to have a friend or neighbor that you can walk with. Always take the safest route. Try to stay in the public eye and not through the woods or back country roads. It may be a little longer to get home but it will be much safer.  As a parent you should know what route they are taking and what time they should arrive home. Remind your child about how to properly cross the street.

Crossing The Street Rule: Remember to look right, then left and then right again.

Use crosswalks and listen to crossing guards. When riding a bike these rules also apply. When riding a bike remind children to stop at all intersections and look both ways using the crossing the street rule. Know the laws and what side of the street you should be riding on. Make sure their bikes are road worthy and the tires are inflated, brakes are in good working order, have a good place to safely attach and secure their books or backpack and that they have a good bike lock. Does your bike have a horn? A horn can save your life when trying to alert someone who cannot see you. Have bike  reflectors on your bike and always use good common sense. LAST BUT NOT LEAST THEY SHOULD ALWAYS BE WEARING A BIKE HELMET WHEN RIDING.

Backpack Safety – Don’t Overload

Backpacks are very popular and convenient for kids to carry books in. Often times I see them way overloaded with heavy books, folders, lunch boxes etc…

This can cause unnecessary back strain and shoulder strain on a young person. After looking in my child’s backpack I noticed many of the books could have been left in his locker. The only books that should be coming home are the once needed for homework or reading.

If you perform a regular inventory of your child’s backpack you will most certainly find things that are not needed and can lighten the load. Make sure your backpack has shoulder straps that are good and wide and are cushioned. Many kids have to walk miles to school. I have seen rolling backpacks around that may be a good choice if your child is has a lot of needed books and has difficulty with a regular backpack.

For more info go to National Safety Council

Have a Safe and Fun School Year

By Shepherd and Osborne

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