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Get a safe start to the new school year

Posted Aug. 19, 2019

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diagram of a bus
Children existing a school bus should wait for a signal from the driver before crossing the street.

MedStar experienced a significant jump in pediatric auto-pedestrian crashes last year as school started, responding to 13 calls between Aug. 20 and Sept. 19. That compares to just five in July.

“A pediatric auto-pedestrian crash is one of our most heartbreaking calls,” said Emily Hill, a MedStar paramedic supervisor. “Kids are very fragile, and these crashes too often have devastating outcomes.”

As kids all across Fort Worth start a new school year, MedStar highlights tips from the National Safety Council:

Preparation

  • Parents should do a “dry run” with kids, walking to school or to the bus stop, walking home and so on. Review safety tips with them.
  • If your child has medical issues, be sure the school is briefed on your child’s medical condition, emergency contacts and to which hospital you would like your child transported in an emergency.

Waiting for the bus

  • Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property.
  • Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches.
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus.
  • Use the handrail when boarding.

Walking to the bus stop or to school

  • Although drivers are required by law to stop for a school bus when it’s loading or unloading passengers, they often don’t. Children should not rely on them to do so.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, face oncoming traffic.
  • Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.
  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone. Never cross the street while using an electronic device. If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
  • Do not walk with headphones on.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Cross only at crosswalks.

Tips for a safe bus ride

  • If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up.
  • Don’t speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver.
  • Stay in your seat.
  • Don’t put your head, arms or hands out the window.
  • Keep aisles clear of books and bags.
  • Get your belongings together before reaching your stop.
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat.

Getting off the bus

  • Use the handrail when exiting.
  • If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing.
  • When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you.
  • Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver signals it is safe.
  • Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times.

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Fort Worth Housing Board of Commissioners Notice of Possible Quorum, Butler Place Redevelopment Meeting: 9 a.m. Sept. 24, 2019; FWHS Auditorium, 1201 East 13th Street.
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