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Keeping Your Kids Safe at School and on the Road

School can be a minefield. With bullies, raucous bus rides, and bad lunches to deal with, it’s a wonder so many kids make it out in one piece.

Below, we’ve included a few tips to help keep your kids safe both at school and during their commute during the new school year.

Bike

While Arizona doesn’t require the use of a helmet while riding a bike, you should make sure that your child wears a helmet if he or she is riding a bike to school. In order for the helmet to work correctly, it must fit your child’s head. Make sure his or her helmet isn’t too loose. Under Arizona’s bike law, bicyclists can use the roads, but are subject to the same laws as motorists. Make sure your child stays to the right side of the road, as it’s safer to ride with traffic than against it.

Walking

If your children plan to walk to school, you should practice walking there with them before school starts. Find the safest route possible, preferably through a neighborhood or residential area. Tell your kids to stick to the sidewalk and only cross at corners and crosswalks. You may want to encourage your child to walk to school with a group of classmates to minimize the possibility of abduction or other dangers, the National Safety Council suggests.

Bus

If your children are going to take the bus, you should walk them to the bus stop for the first few days of school. Tell your child to stand at least three big steps away from the curb as the bus pulls up, says the National Safety Council. Once on the bus, your kid should stay in his or her seat and to avoid distracting the bus driver.

Playgrounds

There are no national standards or Arizona state standards for playground safety; it’s up to you and the school to make sure your child’s playground is safe. If you notice any hazards like rusted metal or broken equipment, you should bring it to the attention of school administrators.

Bullying

Bullying can take both a physical and an emotional toll on a child. It’s your job to nip cases of bullying in the bud. The first step is to be aware of the bullying. Make sure to have open communication with your child, so that he or she feels comfortable talking to you about bullying. If you find out that your child is being bullied, you should notify the school. Arizona’s anti-bullying law requires school districts to enforce disciplinary procedures for dealing with bullies.

If the school fails to take action against the bully and your child is injured as a result, you may be able to bring a personal injury suit against the bully’s family or the school for failing to act. If your child was injured by a bully and the school failed to step in, you should consult with an attorney to learn about possible legal avenues.

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