(MIAMI, August 14, 2013) – It’s that time of year again! Backpacks are all the rage and students, are getting ready to make the grade. As the beginning of another school year approaches, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) would like to remind both parents and kids of the importance of making this school year a safe one. In order to ensure a safe first day back, MDFR urges children and parents to follow these safety guidelines:
Riding the Bus
- Choose a safe place for your child to wait for the bus, located away from traffic and the street.
- Teach children to stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals that it is safe to enter.
- When being dropped off, children should exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Keep a safe distance away from the bus, and remember that children are small, so the bus driver can see them best when they are back away from the bus.
- Encourage them to use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
- Children should always be aware of street traffic around them. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, however, not all do. Teach them to always be alert and to take an active role in protecting themselves and watching out for their own safety.
Biking to School
- Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
- Mind all traffic signals and the crossing guard. Never cross the street against a light, even if there is no visible traffic.
- Walk bikes through intersections.
- Wear light-colored clothing and reflective material for maximum visibility.
Walking to School
- Make sure your child’s walk to school follows a safe route with crossing guards at every intersection.
- Children should always walk with a buddy.
- Wearing bright-colored clothing will make them more visible to drivers.
Riding in a Car
- Most traffic accidents occur close to home.
- Everyone needs to be buckled up properly. That means older kids in seat belts, younger kids in booster seats, and toddlers and infants in child safety seats.
- All children under 13 years of age should ride in the rear seats of vehicles.
- Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You may want to limit the number of teen passengers to prevent driver distraction. Do not allow your teen to drive while eating, drinking, talking on a cell phone, or while reading and writing text messages.
For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.