The school bell tolls once more

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2005

Well, as you read this, your children are less than 48 hours away from the start of a new school year in Butler County.

Amid the last minute rush to stock up on school supplies and those uniforms, remember to talk to your child about safety.

You would be surprised to know that

with the return to school, there is also the greater chance of school injuries.

Playgrounds account for the majority of school-related injuries, with falls from playground equipment making up more than half of these, so check with your school's administrator about how the equipment is maintained.

McKenzie School and W.O. Parmer both have brand new playground equipment, so they are set.

But let's also remember those children who walk to school or ride a bike.

Go over traffic rules with them and the importance of being aware of their surroundings.

If they do ride a bike, they should wear helmets and other protective gear.

For the parents of those children on the school buses, review the Code of Student Conduct regarding the school buses.

Also, remember to really emphasize safety when they board or exit and walk around a school bus.

According the National Transportation Safety Board, most bus-related accidents occur getting on or off the bus or going around it.

So warn them.

And tell your children to walk more than 10 feet in front of the bus.

If you have to, mark off 15 feet from an object and give them an example.

Also, one of the biggest causes of accidents is the fact that people are rushed and don't pay attention.

So make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning.

And for those of you who think you need to pass a school bus, remember: if the lights are flashing, and you pass the bus, you are breaking the law.

If you see a bus stopped on a four-lane highway such as Fort Dale Road, all four lanes must come to a complete stop.

Kids will always be kids, and accidental scrapes, bumps, and falls are just a few of the things parents expect. But a little extra effort on the side of caution can be the difference between a simple band-aid fix and a dozen stitches - or worse!

Now that we've spread the caution, here's to a great and exciting school year.