Stay safe going back to school with these tips from the Red Cross | WJHL

(WHNT) – Are you going back to school soon? The Tennessee Region of the American Red Cross has some tips to help students, parents, and community members stay safe.

School Bus Safety

  • Bus riders should arrive at their stop early and stay away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive.
  • Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
  • Never run out into the street or cross between parked cars
  • Students board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and has been told to board by the driver or other staff member.
  • Students are to board only their bus, not an alternate (unless otherwise instructed by the school)
  • Students must always remain in sight

Drive, bike, or walk to school

  • Always wear your seat belt; younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (the Red Cross said this typically occurs in children ages 8 to 12 and taller than 4 feet 9 inches ); children must also ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old
  • Parents of teens who drive to school should require seat belts for their teens; drivers should also refrain from texting, using their cell phone, eating or drinking while driving
  • Bicyclists should always wear a helmet and ride on the right. with traffic (biking in the same direction as vehicles)
  • Pedestrians must cross the street at intersections and use routes where the school has posted crossing guards; parents should accompany young children to school, along with those taking new routes or attending new schools, for at least 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 someone they don’t know; parents must 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; kids will walk or bike around the area
  • Remember: 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 loading or unloading. Drivers in both directions are required to stop and remain stopped until the lights go out, the stop sign is retracted, and the bus is moving. In Tennessee, the only scenario where this rule does not apply is if a bus stops on a highway with four or more lanes Y the road is divided by a barrier or unpaved area; Drivers approaching the bus from an oncoming direction are not required to stop, but must exercise caution. Fines for passing a stopped school bus range from $250-$999 in Tennessee.

Prepare for emergencies

  • Learn about your child’s school’s 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 kids are at school and parents are at work. You can find a help guide in the Red Cross website.

Learn First Aid

  • Download the Red Cross First Aid app (google play | Apple iOS/iPadOS): Provides instant access to information on handling common first aid emergencies before, during, and after school
  • Learn and practice first aid and CPR/AED skills through Red Cross classes; Find one near you here.
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