The back-to-school season is always an exciting time for kids and parents alike. However, with the thrill of new teachers, friends, and experiences also comes the responsibility of ensuring your child’s safety.
Florida parents, in particular, have unique concerns given the state’s diverse landscape and weather conditions. In this blog, we’ll explore some practical tips on how to keep your kids safe as they head back to school and discuss what to do if they are injured.
Walking and Biking Safety
For many students, getting to school involves walking or biking. Florida’s warm climate encourages outdoor activities, but it also means dealing with traffic. To keep your kids safe:
- Establish a safe route to school, avoiding busy streets and high-traffic areas.
- Teach them to use crosswalks and obey traffic signals.
- Ensure they wear helmets when biking.
- Remind them to always look both ways before crossing streets.
School Bus Safety
If your child takes the school bus, make sure they understand these safety rules:
- Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early.
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before attempting to board.
- Stay seated during the ride and avoid any disruptive behavior.
- When exiting the bus, wait for it to come to a complete stop and look both ways before crossing the street.
If you’re part of a carpool, here are some safety tips:
- Ensure all children are securely buckled up in age-appropriate car seats or seatbelts.
- Assign one adult as the designated driver and make sure they are well-rested and free from distractions.
- Communicate effectively with other parents to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding pick-up and drop-off schedules.
Florida’s weather can be unpredictable. Prepare your child for various conditions:
- Provide them with appropriate clothing, like raincoats and umbrellas, for rainy days.
- During hot weather, pack plenty of water to keep your child hydrated.
- Discuss the importance of seeking shelter during lightning storms.
Teach your child about the importance of not talking to strangers. Discuss:
- The difference between a stranger and a trusted adult.
- What to do if a stranger approaches them or offers them a ride.
- The importance of walking in groups or with friends.
What to Do If Your Child Is Injured
Despite your best efforts, accidents can still happen. In the event that your child is injured at school or on their way to or from school, here’s what you should do:
Assess the Situation:
Determine the severity of the injury. Is it a minor scrape, a bruise, or something more serious?
Seek Immediate Medical Attention:
For serious injuries, call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room. For minor injuries, you can administer basic first aid if you’re trained to do so. Otherwise, seek medical advice from a healthcare professional.
Notify the School:
Contact the school to inform them of the situation. They will need to be aware of any injuries that occur on school property.
Document the Incident:
Take pictures of the injury and the location where it occurred. This documentation may be helpful if you need to take legal action or if the injury becomes a recurring issue.
Consult with an Attorney:
If your child’s injury was due to negligence on the part of the school, transportation provider, or another party, consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your legal options.
Safety Practices For A New School Year
As the school year begins, the safety of your children should always be a top priority. By following these guidelines for walking, biking, using the school bus, carpooling, and preparing for Florida’s unique weather conditions, you can help ensure your child’s well-being.
In the unfortunate event of an injury, stay calm, seek medical attention promptly, and take the necessary steps to protect your child’s rights and safety. With proper preparation and vigilance, you can send your children back to school with confidence in their safety.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is the founding partner at the personal injury Law firm, The Winston Law Firm. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent,