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Traveling to and from School


Walking to school is a great form of exercise. Teach your children to be safe when crossing the street or playing near traffic.

  • Stop at the curb and look left-right-left for traffic before stepping into the street, and watch for other cars as you cross.
  • Look for signs that a car is about to move from a parking space or driveway, such as rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of a motor or wheels turning.
  • Listen to the directions of a crossing guard.

Before heading out on a bike, make sure it is in working condition and that the rider is wearing a helmet.

Make sure the route to and from school is safe. Avoid heavy traffic, hills, sharp turns and streets with many bumps or potholes. Remember to obey the rules of the road and use hand signals to communicate turns and stops. If allowed, children should ride on the sidewalk away from cars and other fast traffic.

Parents should require everyone in the car to wear a seatbelt at all times. Younger children should be safely secured in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat, and children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat.

All drivers should be extra alert when driving in school zones and avoid distractions, such as eating, drinking and using a cellphone.
Parents can help keep their teen safe while driving by setting restrictions on number of passengers and eliminating distractions.
Riding a bus
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a school bus is the safest way for a child to get to school. Teach your children to be safe while boarding and riding the bus.

  • Stop at the curb and wait for the bus to come to a complete stop.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to get to or from the bus.
  • Listen to the bus driver’s instructions at all times.


Article from American Academy of Pediatrics.


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Back to School Safety

Transportation Safety

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.

Walking to school

  • Review your family’s walking safety rules.
  • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car.
  • Practice walking to school with your child.

Riding a bicycle to school

  • Make sure your child always wears his helmet when leaving the house.
  • Teach your children the rules of the road they need to know to ride their bicycles.
  • Ride on the right side of the road and in a single file.
  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

Riding the bus to school

  • Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
  • Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.
  • If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are at least 12 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.

School Safety

Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.

  • Preventing backpack-related injuries
  • Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
  • Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
  • Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight.

Preventing playground-related injuries

  • Encourage your child only to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, as they are too hard.
  • Children under the age of four should not use climbing equipment and watch older children when they’re climbing.
  • Do not let your children use monkey bars. They are unsafe and should not be used by children of any age.


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Report Suspicious Behaviors

Most Obvious Things to Watch For

  • A stranger entering your neighbor's house or apartment when it is unoccupied.
  • A scream heard anywhere may indicate a robbery or sexual assault.
  • Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices could mean stolen property.
  • Anyone removing accessories, license plates, or gasoline from a car.
  • Anyone peering into parked cars to steal or take valuables left out in the car.
  • Persons entering or leaving a business place after hours or loitering outside.
  • The sound of breaking glass or any other loud explosive noises could mean an accident, house break-in, or vandalism.
  • Persons loitering around schools, parks, secluded areas or in the neighborhood could be sex offenders.
  • Not every stranger who comes into your neighborhood is a criminal. There are perfectly legitimate door-to-door sales, repairmen, and servicemen around your neighborhood all the time. But criminals do take advantage of this by assuming the guise of these legitimate people. After all, if a criminal looked like a criminal no one would have any trouble spotting him.


Suspicious Actions and What They Might Mean

  • If someone is going door-to-door in your neighborhood, tries a door to see if it is locked and/or goes into a back yard, they could be a burglar.
  • Anyone forcing entrance into or tampering with a residence, a business or vehicle is suspicious anytime, anywhere.
  • A person running, especially if carrying something of value and at an unusual hour, is very suspicious and could be leaving the scene of a crime.
  • A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms may be injured, under the influence of drugs, or otherwise needing medical or psychiatric assistance.
  • Much human traffic to and from a certain residence is not suspicious unless it occurs on a daily basis, especially during late or unusual hours. It could possibly be the scene of vice activities or a "fence" operation.


If you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number.  If there is a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.  Here is a link to Washington County’s non-emergency law enforcement agency numbers.



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