Bad Weather – Safety Is Important
If Walking to School
- Make sure your child has a safe route before allowing her or him to walk to school.
- Consider whether your child has the skills necessary to walk safely to school. Can (s)he stay alert to the dangers of traffic? Can (s)he stay focused on getting to school without getting distracted and delayed?
- Walk or scope out the route yourself before taking your child along. Be sure that the route (s)he will take offers good visibility, is relatively free of hazards, has plenty of pedestrian room at a safe distance from traffic and involves no dangerous crossings.
- Consider available daylight when your child will be walking. Regardless of visibility, be sure your child is wearing brightly colored clothing.
- If extremely bad weather conditions are a concern, have a safe backup transportation plan.
- See if there are other neighborhood children your child can walk with. There is safety in numbers.
- A bicycle helmet is a must. Make sure your child always wears one to ride a bicycle, no matter how short the ride may be. The helmet should be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Brightly colored clothing helps drivers see cyclists more clearly. Be sure your child’s clothing makes them more visible.
- Children should only be allowed to ride when there is plenty of daylight. If it is dark outside, consider other transportation plans.
- Young children (up to age 9) should only ride with adult supervision, and never on the street.
- Use your judgment about allowing older children to ride in traffic, depending on how heavy or slippery road traffic is where they’ll be riding; how mature the children are; and how able they are to follow the rules of the road.
- All bicycle riders should follow the basic rules of the road: Ride with traffic.
- Stop and look both ways before entering the street. Remember that in slippery weather, cars may have difficulty braking.
- Stop at all intersections, whether marked or unmarked.
- Before turning, use hand signals and look in every direction.
- Teach your children to check their bike’s condition on a routine basis. Tires, brakes and seat and handlebar height should be checked annually. Make sure your child is able to brake safely on wet surfaces.
In a Vehicle
- If your teen has been driving for less than 6 months, consider driving them to school, instead of having them drive themselves to school if road conditions are unsafe.
- Insist on seatbelt use at all times. No exceptions.
- Be clear with your teen about your policies for safe driving, and make sure you model those policies yourself. Eliminate all distractions when driving (loud music, cell phones, conversation, food and drink).
- If you’re driving children to school, be sure to follow safe practices for your young passengers to teach them the value of safe driving.