It’s Back to School & it’s Time for Safety!

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schoolBusWake up and smell the new crayons, backpacks and vinyl binders! Soon the wheels on the bus will go round and round and it will be back-to-school time for your little bookworm. Let’s give our kids what they need for a great school year! It’s time to teach the ABC’s and 123’s of safety! Whether your kids are riding the BIG yellow school bus, walking to class, carpooling, or biking with their newly filled backpack, there are a few things we can do to make them safer.

School Bus Safety:

The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is the loading and unloading of students.

When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic. Do not stray onto streets, alleys or private property.

Remember there are danger areas around school buses where the driver cannot see you.

Wait until the bus has stopped, the driver sees you and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway. This goes for loading and unloading.

Wait for a signal from the bus driver before beginning to cross.

Stay away from the bus’ rear wheels at all times.

Always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing the street.

s5_2_end_school_zoneZones, Walking & Biking:

Drivers, bikers and in-line skaters must stop to allow people in crosswalks to cross the street. Pay attention to school zone speed limits, and always expect children! No cell phones in school zones!

Stay in the crosswalk and pay attention to the crossing guard.

Remember to look left, right and left again if you have to cross the street.

If traveling on foot or bike, do not run or ride between parked cars and buses.

Do not run across the street or through a parking lot trying to catch up with friends. Walk your bike across the street.

If you are biking, don’t forget your helmet, hand signals and traffic rules! Walking or biking, make sure you can be seen!

Cell-Phone-Use-Sign-PKE-22650_300Backpack Safety:

Wear both straps and your backpack up high to prevent back injuries, and make sure your bag is not too heavy!

Choose a padded backpack to reduce pressure on the back, shoulders and under arm regions, and enhance comfort.

Choose reflective material to enhance visibility during low-light situations such as walking or biking at dawn or dusk.

Check out the iSafe Backpack! This nifty product has seamlessly incorporated a safety mechanism into one of your child’s most used accessories. The iSafe Backpack looks and performs like any normal backpack but includes a small, lightweight alarm and flashing light meant to decrease those stranger danger hazards, beef up bully security and act as an SOS signal of sorts if the wearer is lost. www.isafebags.com. Here at Lexlee’s Kids we have our very own iSafe Backpack if you would like take a peek!

Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about back to school safety or general child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991. Thanks for reading!

Belts on Buses…Pro or Con?

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How does this kid look in this school bus seat belt?

Follow up to http://www.lexleeskids.org/back-to-school-safety/back-to-school-with-bus-safety.

There are lots of things to consider when deciding if seat belts on school buses is a pro or con. Louisiana does have a School Bus Belt Law. However, the law is contingent on state funds. If the state does not have the funding in place, the law is not enforceable.

Reasons to consider NOT having belts on buses:  

$COST$. Retrofitting school buses with seat belts would add up to: BIG BUCKS! According to an Alabama study, installing seat belts would add anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 to the cost of a new bus and may have little to no impact on safety.

Seat belts would take up room that’s now used for seating, meaning fewer children would be accommodated on each row. That could require school systems to increase their bus fleets by as much as 15 percent just to transport the same number of pupils. The study also stated that seat belts would have to be phased in over a decade at a minimum cost of $117 million per state.

Sbus harnessAFETY. In many situations seat belts aren’t the best choice for children. Lap/shoulder belts can be misused running the risk of neck and abdominal injuries. Who would be helping to restrain the children? What if they are too young and small for seat belts? Are we to install car seats/harness systems? Who will install the car seats/harness them in? Would you trust someone else to properly restrain your child? Would your child stay restrained? Would the school have to hire and train staff to be on the buses restraining children? Would parents be allowed to get on the bus to restrain their children? How much time would that add to the bus route?

Most parents don’t properly restrain their children, much less one bus driver to fifty kids. What if there’s an  emergency and one driver was responsible for unbuckling all the children? What if the driver is injured and the kids can’t unbuckle themselves?

It’s easy to think of the reasons to add seat belts and harness systems, but the reasons not to add are easily over looked. This is a tough call for safety professionals and parents alike. Many will say you can’t put a dollar amount on my child’s safety, but the fact still remains that the funding is not there and there are both pros and cons to consider. Some may even go so far to say the cons outweigh the pros.

bus beltsIf cars have seat belts, why don’t school buses? Well, because research shows that modern school buses are already remarkably safe, and because seat belts don’t work the same in buses as they do cars.

This is just something to get your wheels turning! You always have the option of carpool and operations as usual: car seats, booster seats, seat belts and drivers you know and trust. Many working families may not have that option, so the bus is it. Decisions, decisions…

More questions or concerns about bus safety? Post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991. Happy School Year and thanks for reading!

Back to School with Bus Safety!

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school busThe wheels on the bus go round and round! The bell has rang and school’s in! That dreaded moment when you have to put your child on the big yellow school bus! They are so full of excitement and you are so full of worry. “You expect me to put my child in a vehicle with NO SEAT BELTS!!!!??? No thank you!” This may or may not calm your nerves, but grab a pen and take notes, class is in session.

School Bus Safety for the Kids:

  • Walk to the bus stop with an adult.
  • Wait until the bus has stopped, the driver sees you and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.  This goes for loading and unloading.
  • Wait for a signal from the bus driver before beginning to cross.
  • Stay away from the bus’ rear wheels at all times.
  • Always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before      crossing the street.
  • No horseplay. Go straight to your seat and sit facing forward.
  • Teach your kids to tattle: if they see their bus driver talking on a cell phone, they should tell you and you should report the driver!

Louisiana Laws for Drivers:

  • When a bus stops to load or unload children on a 2, 3 or 4-lane highway that does not have a center divider, all vehicles in both directions MUST STOP.
  • When a bus stops to load or unload children on a 4-lane divided highway that has a median, only vehicles following the bus MUST STOP.

***Soooo, the only time YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP is if there is a grassy or raised median and you are on the opposite side of the road as the bus. Double lines=STOP! Turning lanes=STOP! Single/dotted line=STOP!

Worried that buses don’t have seatbelts?

  • Buses are bigger and less likely to get into a crash. Travels at lower speeds. Drivers are naturally more careful around buses.
  • Buses are bright and have flashing lights, stop signs/arms and reinforced sides.
  • Well-trained drivers.
  • Children walk up steps to get on the bus. If your typical vehicle hits a bus, it is hitting underneath the children (not directly in line with your child’s body). Trains, 18-wheelers, other large vehicles and roll-overs are game changers.
  • Compartmentalization: Think of eggs in an egg carton. Bus seating is designed to keep kids in a smaller area. They’re spaced tightly and covered with 4-inch-thick foam to form a protective bubble. In a crash the child is likely to go against the seat, and that will absorb most of the impact. It’s a safety design so they won’t be projected through the air.

More questions or concerns about bus safety? Post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991. Thanks for reading. Class Dismissed!

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