We asked Hope Mullins with Arkansas Children's Injury Prevention Center to share some back-to-school safety tips. She suggests parents focus on three things: safety on the bus, at school, and on the playground.

"On the bus or any moving vehicle, distractions are a major factor in crashes. It is up to each individual child not to be a distraction. Parents should advise children to refrain from yelling and fighting," says Hope.

When it comes to recess, Hope points out that children outnumber adults, so playground behavior is another crucial conversation to have. "Talk to your child about what's safe and what to avoid, such as hard surfaces or broken equipment."

Here are some simple reminders to keep your family safe this school year:

    Bus safety. If your child rides the bus, talk to them about ways to get safely on and off.

  • Always cross in FRONT of the bus when crossing a street.
  • Make sure the bus driver sees you before crossing in front of the bus.
  • When getting off the bus, take five giant steps away from the bus before walking.

  • Backpacks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends packs weigh no more than 10% of a child’s body weight. 

    Playgrounds. Nearly 80% of all playground injuries are caused by falls. Talk to your children about playing safely and check with your school to make sure the equipment meets safety standards. 

    No phone in the school zone. It is illegal to use your cell phone in a school zone. Phones are a significant distraction and put children in danger. According to the National Safety Council, 26% of crashes in the United States involve the use of a mobile device. Put it away – it’s not worth a life.

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