Students arriving at school

Start the school year safely

As summer comes to an end, the school routine will soon be in full swing. Some of our children and young adults are starting a new routine at a new school, while others are driving to school for the first time. As with any new routine or skill, opportunities for injuries will present themselves. Remember, traumas are preventable.

Below are a few tips for you to share with your children.

In general

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • If at any time you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation and seek assistance/notify an adult

Bus safety

  • Keep your extremities inside the vehicle at all times
  • Stay in your seat while the bus is in motion
  • When entering or exiting the bus, make sure the driver can see you

Car safety

  • Avoid distractions
  • Remember you are responsible for all those in your car and anything/anyone your car comes in contact with
  • Always wear your seat belt and obey the road signs
  • Make sure your passengers wear their seat belt, yes, even those in the back seat
  • Leave early so you have plenty of time to make the first bell
  • Never pass a bus that is stopped receiving or offloading children
  • Watch for pedestrians, many of them are distracted

Pedestrian safety

  • Always walk on a sidewalk if available
  • Walk against/facing traffic if there’s no sidewalk
  • Use designated crosswalks
  • Stop before crossing a street, always look both ways before crossing
  • Remember eyes up, phone down, stay alert
  • Watch out for distracted drivers
  • If walking when visibility is low (fog, early morning, dusk) wear bright colored clothes and/or have reflective material

In-school tips

  • Know your exits in case of an emergency
  • Be aware of emergency kits (AED, Bleeding Control, First Aid) and their locations
  • Inform an adult (teacher, resource officer) of any issues of concern (threatening social media posts, texts, bullying, etc.) as soon as you know of them
  • Participate in your school “drills” as if they are the “real thing”

Sports safety  

  • Listen to your coach
  • Wear your protective gear
  • Stay hydrated
  • If you have any of the following concussion-related symptoms after a hit to the head, notify your coach or parent immediately:
    • Disoriented
    • Glassy eyes
    • Forgetfulness
    • Drowsiness
    • Headache

As the school year takes off and eventually feels like a “normal day,” remind your children of these tips. They are just as important on day 1 as they are on day 180. Trauma doesn’t discriminate or take breaks. It is universal and is always looking for its opportunity. Please don’t meet us by accident.

T.J. Mack, RN, BSN, is the trauma injury prevention and outreach coordinator for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.