Johns Hopkins Children's Center's Back to School Tip II
STOP! LOOK! & LISTEN ! - GETTING TO SCHOOL SAFELY
August 26, 1997
Media Contact: Melissa Sweeney
These are statistics for children ages 14 and under and from the National Safe Kids Campaign.
- Motor vehicle injury is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 14 and under; pedestrian and bicycle-related injuries are listed in the top five causes.
- More than 330,000 children are injured in motor vehicle accidents annually.
- In 1993, nearly 290 children died in bicycle-related crashes. An estimated 90 percent of these incidents involved motor vehicles.
- Nearly 400,000 children are treated for bicycle-related injuries each year.
- It is estimated that as many as 90 percent of unintentional injuries can be prevented.
Experts at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center recommend the following safety and injury prevention techniques for parents as they send their children back to school.
Preventing Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries
- Never start the engine unless everyone is secure with car seats and seat belts.
- Read your child safety seat instruction manual and your motor vehicle manual.
- Buy a child safety seat that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards.
- Never put a rear-facing infant or convertible seat in a front passenger seat with an air bag.
Preventing Bicycle Injuries
- Wait until age six to teach bike riding to your child.
- Make an agreement that your child must wear an approved safety helmet at all times.
- Make sure your child's bike fits properly - legs touch the ground when straddling bike (beware of recycled older siblings' bikes).
- Make sure the bike is in good operating conditions, especially the brakes.
- Establish strict rules: no riding on busy streets, follow traffic signs and lights, avoid night riding, ride on sidewalks or bike path.
Preventing School Bus and Pedestrian Injuries
- Teach your child the importance of holding hands and to look "to the left, to the right, and to the left again" when crossing the street.
- Insist your child crosses the street with crossing guard's instructions.
- Clothe your child with reflective outerwear when walking to school.
- Teach your child to be careful getting on and off the bus. (Children under eight need to be watched with extra care.)
- Teach your child to never run into the street after a bus.
- Slow down and follow safety laws regarding stopping and speed control when driving near a school or residential area.
If you are interested in covering this issue, please call me at 410-223-1741 or beeper 410-283-1112.
* Look for Johns Hopkins Children's Center's Back to School Tip III: "Reach Out and Read: A Vaccination Against Illiteracy."