Back to School Safety Tips
It’s almost time for kids in Edmonton to return to school, which means local households are preparing for the inevitable ensuing chaos. Shifts in schedules, extracurricular activities and the demands of school work can sometimes create an uneasy transition. But don’t let the hustle and bustle of the new semester distract you and your family from observing simple safety rules. Even if you don’t have kids, the new school year means heavier traffic and speed zones for everyone in Edmonton. The experts at Always Plumbing & Heating are going through the same transition; juggling hectic new schedules with the added traffic concerns. Since no one is immune from the back to school rush, we decided to compile a reminder of some essential safety rules to help everyone stay safe throughout the year.
Safety for Kids
Review school bus safety rules for kids who take the bus:
- Arrive at least five minutes before the scheduled pick-up.
- Stay on the sidewalk, away from the street.
- Walk at least three metres away from the bus when crossing in front of the bus so the they are visible to the driver.
- If crossing the street to board the bus, wait until it comes to a complete stop and releases the stop arm. The driver will signal when they are ready for you to proceed.
- Never run to or from the bus.
- Hold the hand rail as you are entering the bus. Be mindful of those in the front and back as you enter.
Have emergency plans in place before the school year begins:
- Review the different kinds of emergencies that might occur before or after school – and develop a family emergency plan for the scenarios.
- Make sure that kids who are home before the adults have a safe place to go in the event of an emergency.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts on the refrigerator and, if your child has a smart phone, make sure all the numbers are kept in the phone as well.
- Go over the emergency procedures for the school as well. Verify that everyone in the family is aware of the protocols and alternate (safety) locations.
School crossing safety:
- Always obey the crossing guard.
- Even if there are green lights at the crossing, do not proceed until the crossing guard gives you the ‘okay.’
- If the crossing guard is helping other kids across the street, don’t run to catch up with them. Wait until the crossing guard returns to escort you.
Safety for Adults
Observe school speed zones:
- Be mindful of the flashing signs and make sure to slow down.
- While in the speed zones (or in any neighborhood street) watch for darting children who can be easily distracted.
- Make sure that even when the signs are not flashing you are aware of your surroundings. You should watch for kids (who might be leaving early) throughout the day.
- If you are driving behind a school bus, make sure you pay close attention to the break lights. Sometimes a bus will stop and not release the stop arm immediately.
- Never drive around a school bus that has made a stop.
- After a bus has collected or dropped off passengers, wait until it has retracted the stop arm and has begun to move before proceeding.
- Be very careful after a passenger drop-off. Sometimes kids will run about after leaving a bus and could end up in the street. Always drive with caution after kids have left a school bus.
- Watch for school crossing guards who are not always immediately visible. Always stop when a guard raises a stop sign.
- Crossing guards are not stop lights. If you see a crossing guard gathering kids on the corner, begin slow down. Speeding up to miss the stop sign is reckless and could potentially be life-threatening.
The professionals at Always Plumbing and Heating hope that you and your household have a safe and happy new school year. Remember that we can help you transition into the fall with HVAC and plumbing maintenance to keep your home running smoothly throughout the fall and winter. Call us at 780-489-8118 (Edmonton) or 587-601-1253 (Fort McMurray) to schedule an appointment today!