Stay safe going back to school

Installation Management Command-Europe safety officials want all parents to take time to go “back to school” to relearn important safety tips as student throughout Europe head back to school.

“While parents celebrate students going back to school, it’s important they take time to talk to children and re-examine some of the proven safety tips to ensure they are safe as they travel to and from school,” said Mike Schwarz, IMCOM-E chief of safety.

Mr. Schwarz encourages parents to discuss the following safety tips with their children to prevent them from harm at school, at home and at play.
Bus Riders
•    Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
•    Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack and never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it.
•    Line up facing the bus, not along side it.
•    Move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic after getting off the bus.
•    Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street and walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.

Bike Helmets
Since a growing number of kids are riding their bikes to school, make sure your kids follow these simple biking rules:
•    Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
•    Ride on the right in the same direction as traffic.
•    Use appropriate hand signals.
•    Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
•    Wear bright colored clothing to increase
•    Know the rules of the road.

Textbooks, notebooks, lunch, toys. How much weight is your child toting back and forth each day? Take the load off your child by following these backpack safety tips.
•    Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
•    Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student’s body weight.
•    Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
•    Consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.
For more safety information, check out the IMCOM-E Web site safety page or contact your local Army garrison safety office.

(Courtesy of Installation Management Command-Europe Public Affairs)