With summer drawing to a close, soon those bright yellow school buses will be rambling through the streets of northern Idaho. Before the kids go back to school, take a few moments to reinforce safety guidelines with your youngsters.Safety for Getting to SchoolAttorney James Bendell, personal injury attorney in Kootenai County, recommends discussing school transportation safety with your child each year – from kindergarten to high school – to avoid serious injury.Here are a few quick tips for walkers:

  • Never walk to school alone.
  • Don’t accept a ride from a stranger.
  • Walk facing traffic or stay on the sidewalk.
  • Cross the street at an intersection or corner.
  • Stop – look left, right, left – and listen before crossing the street.

Children who bike to school should be sure to:

  • Wear a helmet that fits correctly.
  • Wear reflective materials and bright colors especially if riding at night.
  • Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like riding along with the traffic flow – look here for complete Idaho bike rules from the Idaho Transportation Department.
  • Practice riding skills like signaling a turn, stopping and looking over your shoulder.

School bus safety is important and the biggest risk to school bus riders is not the ride itself, but getting on and off the bus. Be sure to cover these points with your child:

  • Wait for the bus at least 3 giant steps away from the street.
  • Don’t approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Don’t cross the street until the driver gives you the OK.

Students should always wear seat belts on school buses where available.

Backpack Safety

Studies prove that carrying a too-heavy backpack can cause poor posture, back pain and serious back and neck injuries. A child’s gait and posture can even be altered if carrying a backpack that is too big, and their risk of falling increases.

  • When shopping for a backpack, choose one that has padded, adjustable straps and that ends above the waist.
  • The pack should weigh no more than 10% of your child’s weight so stow only what is necessary.
  • Consider a backpack with rolling wheels if permitted in your school district.

Preparation is Key to Avoid a Sports Injury

Prepare your child to avoid injury when enjoying fall sports:

  • Schedule a thorough physical exam.
  • Gentle stretching before and after activities can help prevent injuries.
  • Send a personalized water bottle to help with hydration before, during and after sports.
  • Vary activities to avoid overuse injuries – and make sure they get adequate rest periods.

No matter which fall sport your child enjoys – football, cross country, soccer or field hockey – careful preparation will help make practices and games injury-free.

The Bendell Law Firm in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho has extensive experience in accidents and any other type of personal injury case. Call us at 208-215-2255 for a free consultation on your injury case and feel free to browse our website.