School Drop Off Safety Checklist
When you drop off your child at school, use this checklist to make sure these hidden hazards aren't waiting to cause injury or death.
Drawstrings on Jackets and Sweatshirts
- There should be no drawstrings on hoods or around the neck. Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should extend no more than three inches to prevent catching in car and school bus doors or getting caught on playground equipment.
- Buy a helmet that meets one of the safety standards (U.S. CPSC, Snell, ANSI, ASTM, or Canadian), and insist that your children wear the helmet each time they ride their bike. Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.
- Make sure that the athletic director or the custodian anchors the soccer goals into the ground so that the soccer goal will not tip over and crush a child.
- Check the surfaces around playground equipment at schools to make sure there is a 12-inch depth of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury when a child falls.
- Be sure your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work phone number, the number of another trusted adult, and how to use 911 for emergencies.
- Teach your children never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don't know well or don't trust.
- Should your children need to walk home, make a plan and choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and use intersections with crossing guards.
- Test the route with your child.
- Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields, and other places where there aren't many people around.
- Teach them to obey all traffic signals, signs, traffic officers, and safety patrols.
- Make sure they always walk with a friend, neighbor, or brother or sister.