Kansas City,
13:25 PM

Plan for safety when walking, biking to school

In just a couple of days, streets will be bustling again with school buses and kids walking and riding their bikes to school. Yes, it’s that time of the year, and safety for everyone is paramount.

Lots of conversations need to occur to keep students and drivers safe this school year. According to several national websites, including saferoutessinfo.org, parents, grandparents and others who help kids get going in the morning should have their plans already cemented for the school year.

Younger children need a caregiver to walk with them. When kids are older, walking in groups is recommended. Before that first bell even sounds on the first day of class, parents and kids should walk the best and safest route to school.

Then stick to that route. Don’t deviate from it — and parents need to talk to their children about avoiding short cuts. Also, there should be no pushing, shoving or general craziness when walking. Someone could be pushed off a sidewalk and into the street.

According to the doctors in the Children’s Mercy Division of Emergency and Urgent Care, children should be taught at an early age the meaning of various street signs or street lights.

It is also important to teach the importance of using crosswalks as well as what it means to be a pedestrian. Emphasize typical street-crossing procedures. Always look before you cross, obey all intersections and crosswalks, and never cross mid-block.

The bulk of these rules apply to bicyclists, too. Remember, drivers may not be able to see you well as you’re pedaling along. Always wear bright-colored clothes and if it is dark or hard to see, carry a small flashlight or wear reflective gear. Watch out for cars and trucks at every driveway and intersection on your walk or ride to school.

If the neighborhood school offers a bike rodeo to teach bicycle safety through an on-bike experience, take advantage of the event.

As adults, do a better job in watching out for school-aged children. Learn where crosswalks are around the neighborhood schools and watch for the crossing guard. Help educate students and parents about bicycle and pedestrian safety and concerns they may have about personal security issues.


See the full story via the Smithville Herald.

Learn more about the Children's Mercy Division of Emergency and Urgent Care.