(from the New Orleans Police Department) – As parents prepare for the start of a new school year, teaching children how to be safer needs to be a priority. Below are a few helpful tips:
- Pack light. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s body weight.
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps. Always use both straps. Carrying a backpack over one shoulder can strain the muscles.
Traveling to and from school
- It’s a good time to reinforce general safety rules including who he/she should and shouldn’t talk to, and when he/she shouldn’t get off the school bus.
- Parents dropping off their children at the bus stop, should let their children exit their vehicles at curbside, away from traffic.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Wear a lap/shoulder seat belt on the bus if it is equipped with one.
- Do not move around on the bus.
- Keep heads and arms inside of the bus while riding.
- Wait until bus come to a complete stop before getting up to exit.
- Check both ways before exiting the bus.
- Remind children not to bend down in front of the bus to tie shoes or pick up dropped objects. The bus driver may not see them.
Walking to school
- Consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
- Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school with.
- Review traffic safety rules with them.
- Remind them not to talk to strangers.
- Do not stop on the way.
- Keep encouraging literacy at home.
- Create a quite place, without distractions, for your child to do his/her homework.
- Remember curfew hours change when school starts. Children under 17 years old, without a custodian, should not remain in a public place or on the premises of an establishment during the hours of 8:00pm to 6:00am Sunday-Thursday and 11:00pm-6:00am on Friday and Saturday. The French Quarter hours remain 8:00pm-6:00am, Sunday through Saturday.
- For more information on New Orleans curfew laws visit: www.municode.com