FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SLIDESHOW:
- Pack light. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student’s body weight.
- Organize the pack. Make use of all compartments and pack heavier items closest to the center of the back.
- Choose well. Select a pack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles and may increase curvature of the spine.
NHTSA TIPS TO KEEP KIDS SAFE:
School Bus: School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Even so, kids need to be especially careful around the school bus "danger zone" – 10 feet in front, 10 feet behind, and on each side of the bus. Kids should:
- Wait five giant steps from the road and when the school bus arrives, wait until the driver says to board.
- When boarding the school bus, quickly find a seat, sit facing the front and do what the school bus driver says to do.
- When exiting the bus, look out for cars. When off the bus, take 5 giant steps from the school bus.
- Look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming and wait for the driver to signal it's safe to cross.
Walking: Pedestrians 10 years old and younger should be accompanied by an adult or young adult on their way to and from school. Kids should:
- Walk on the sidewalk and if there is none, walk facing traffic.
- Not push or shove others when you walk.
- When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars. Do not cross if a car is coming and use a crosswalk if available.
Biking: The two best protections when biking to and from school are a properly fitted bicycle helmet and a good grasp of traffic safety rules. Kids should:
- Always wear a helmet and make sure to buckle the chin strap.
- Ride along streets with low traffic volume and at lower speeds.
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic, and stop at all stop signs and signals.
- Never use headphones or cell phones while riding.
Car: Children should always ride in the back seat. Children in the front seat are 40 percent more likely to be injured in crashes.
One last tip: whether walking, biking or driving, stay completely focused on the road and put your cell phone away.