Kids' Safety Travels with Safety Sam
My name is Safety Sam! Let's travel to school safely!
- Ride single-file with traffic
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Use hand signals if you are going to stop or turn.
- Stop and look left-right-left before entering a street.
- Walk your bike across an intersection.
- Watch for blind spots.
- Stay alert for things that could make you fall off your bike.
- Always wear your helmet. Make sure it fits correctly as well.
- Keep your bike in good working condition.
- Wear bright colors so drivers can see you.
Parents can overestimate their child's ability to cross the street. Many elementary school-age children don't understand traffic signals or how to anticipate a driver's actions. Drivers and child pedestrians each assume (incorrectly) that the other will yield the right-of-way.
Always look both ways before crossing the street!
Kids are at increased risk for pedestrian injuries:
- Their smaller size makes them difficult for drivers to see, especially if they are standing between parked cars on the side of the road.
- Young children are often unable to judge distances and vehicle speeds accurately, so they can easily misjudge whether it is safe to cross a street.
- Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S.
- Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.
- Use booster seats for children until they are at least 8 years of age or 4'9" tall. Children 12 and under should ride in the back seat. It is the safest place for kids.
- Look left-right-left before you step off the bus to be sure no cars are coming, or until the bus driver signals that it is safe to cross.
- NEVER walk behind the bus. If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the road. Walk at least five giant steps ahead of the bus before you cross.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. NEVER try to pick it up.
At the bus stop...
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes early.
- Line up at least five giant steps away from the street.
- Wait until the bus stops and it is safe to get onto the bus.
- Make sure that your backpack or clothing straps are not dangling so they don't get caught in the bus handrails or doors.
- Adults: Make sure platforms and stairs have guardrails.
- Slide down feet first, sitting upright.
- Be sure no one is still on the slide before you go down.
- Leave the bottom of the slide once you have gone down.
- Be careful on metal slides; they may become very hot in the sun.
Monkey Bar Safety
- Start at the same end and move in the same direction as others.
- Watch out for swinging feet.
- Avoid monkey bars when they're wet.
- Sit facing each other.
- Hold on with both hands.
- Never stand on the seesaw.
- Keep feet out from underneath the seesaw.
- Adults: Anchor all equipment properly, per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Sit in the center of the swing; never stand or kneel.
- Hold on with both hands.
- Stop the swing before getting off.
- Do not walk too close to a person who is swinging.
- Supervise children on the playground.
- 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber is recommended for shock-absorbing material under playgrounds.
- Never let children attach ropes, jump ropes or pet leashes to any play equipment.
- Make sure there isn't any protruding hardware, like bolt ends or S hooks.
- Cargo nets should be sized so head entrapment is not possible.
- Look both ways before crossing.
- Always stop for flashing lights, closing gates and stop signs that are by the tracks.
Railroad Track Safety
- Never stop on railroad tracks.
- Do not play on or around railroad tracks.
- Do not play on or around stopped/parked railroad cars.
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Sources: All Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.