Summer vacation is quickly coming to an end in Bergen County and that means it's close to time to send the kids back to school.  Safety should be a top priority and the American Red Cross has provided some steps that all of us can follow to make heading back to the classroom a safe experience. 

  • Teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.
  • Make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult, and how to dial 9-1-1.

School Bus Safety- If your kids will be riding a bus to school this year have them arrive early and wait as far away from the curb as far as possible. 

  • Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed you to get on.
  • Only board your bus and never an alternate one.
  • Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
  • Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
  • Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

What Drivers Should Know- If your child will be traveling to school via a car, remind them to always wear a seatbelt. If your child is younger, please follow safety laws and keep them in a car seat or booster seat until proper height and weight requirements are met. It is also recommended that children should ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

If you have a teenager that will be driving to school on their own this year remind them to always wear a seatbelt and to not use their cell phone for any reason while driving.  

If your children will be riding their bikes to school this year have them always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction that traffic is going. 

If your student will be walking to school instruct them to only cross the street at an intersection and walk a route that leads them to an area where the school has crossing guards in place. If possible, find a friend or classmate to walk with your child to school. 

For more back to school safety tips visit the American Red Cross safety page here.