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Walking to Elementary School

Making Sure Your Child's Walk to School Is Safe

Walking is a great way for kids to get to school. It offers an opportunity for physical activity and is environmentally friendly because it saves gasoline. Walking to school without parents gives a child an opportunity to develop independence.

However, before kids walk to school, they should know how to keep themselves safe. In addition to warning them about strangers, here are some safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that you can share with your child:

  • Walk on the sidewalk. If you have to walk on the road, walk facing traffic.
  • Cross only at corners or crosswalks.
  • When crossing a street, look left, then right, then left again before stepping into the road. Walk across the street and keep looking for cars while you are crossing.
  • Wear bright clothing that can be seen by drivers.

If your child walks to school, you can protect his back by making sure he's carrying his books properly. Choose a lightweight backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. If your child's backpack is heavy, have him use a rolling backpack. A backpack weighing more than 20% of a child's body weight can injure the back, neck, or shoulders.

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