Taking a few, simple steps, such as conducting safety checks on school playgrounds, athletic fields, and inside the classroom can help prevent children from serious injuries during the school year. Parents should also make sure that children riding bicycles or scooters to and from school always wear a helmet and other appropriate safety gear.
Parents, teachers and school administrators each play a major role in promoting back-to-school safety and conducting school safety checks for hidden hazards will go a long way towards keeping kids in the classroom and out of the emergency room.
The Albertson Fire department is providing the following back-to-school safety tips to help prevent injuries this fall:
GETTING TO SCHOOL SAFELY
Bicycle Helmets: 56 percent of last year’s nearly 535,000 bicycle-related injuries involved children.
About 800 people, including about 200 children, died in a recent year in bicycle-related incidents.
Make sure children ALWAYS wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bike or scooter, and use other appropriate safety gear such as elbow pads and knee pads.
Look for a label or sticker on the helmet indicating it meets the CPSC standard. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.
Be aware of local laws pertaining to the use of scooters. Many cities and communities have specific areas where scooters are permissible; whereas other communities prohibit entirely the riding of pocket bikes or motorized scooters.
SAFETY ON PLAYGROUNDS AND ATHLETIC FIELDS
Playgrounds: each year, more than 200,000 children are taken to hospital emergency rooms due to playground-related injuries. Most injuries occur when a child falls onto the playground surface.
Check with your child’s school to make sure there is at least nine inches of safe, shock absorbing surface material, consisting of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material.
Make sure there is no exposed hardware to catch clothing and no free-hanging ropes attached to the equipment.
Soccer Goals: Movable soccer goals can fall over and kill or injure children who climb on them or hang from the crossbar. Since 1979, reports of at least 28 deaths have been reportedly associated with soccer goals.
Make sure soccer goals are securely anchored when in use.
Never allow children to climb on the soccer net or goal framework.
When not in use anchor goals or chain them to a nearby fence post or sturdy framework