Back to school – keeping children safe during the school run

Darker nights with a definite chill in the air herald the start of autumn…and the start of the school run too!

“Back to school” is usually met enthusiastically by parents, if not by children – but one worry which parents often dwell on at this time of year are the perils that their children face on the school run.

There is no denying that the roads can be dangerous places and despite best efforts by local councils to implement effective safety measures around schools, accidents still occur frequently.

So what can you do as a parent to keep your children safe on their journeys to school? Here are our three top tips for helping your children to stay safe.

  1. Education, education, education…

There is no substitute for taking the time to teach your children about the green cross code. It is the basis for staying safe when using the roads as a pedestrian and should be taught to all children from an early age.

Although many schools will cover the green cross code make sure you reinforce their education at home too. Practice the basic rules every time you are out with your children so it becomes second nature. Never set a bad example, always use a pedestrian crossing where possible or make sure you don’t cross the road between parked cars.

  1. Think with your feet!

Ask yourself if you really need to drive your children to school? By doing so, you are actually contributing to the problem of excessive traffic around schools. If you live within a walkable distance, try to walk or cycle with your kids to school whenever possible.

Not only are you actively reducing traffic around schools, but you can also teach your children about road safety en-route, pointing out the safest places to cross the road and explain what hazards to be aware of.

  1. Be bright – be seen.

Always buy your children brightly coloured jackets or make use of the fantastic range of high visibility products which are available these days. Even on sunny days, you should encourage your children to wear brightly coloured clothes so that they are less likely to merge into shadows and reflective strips will help when the light is fading.

This problem can be greater amongst secondary school children. They will often be walking further and wearing a compulsory uniform which is likely to be dark coloured. But you can combat this by encouraging your children to wear reflective arm bands or by sewing reflective strips onto bags.

Wearing high-visibility clothing makes you much easier to spot and therefore other road users can react more quickly. This can have a massive impact on stopping distances and could mean the difference between someone spotting a child in time to stop their car or a child being struck by a moving vehicle.

This is just a small sample of safety ideas for the school run. Freeclaim Solicitors, who are expert personal injury solicitors, have put together this helpful infographic to give more advice and tips.

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