The school run sees millions of parents and children all over the UK travelling via different methods in a bid to reach school on time!
It’s arguably the busiest time of day for any parent and most days it’s even difficult to wake your children from their slumber! Getting our three kids ready in a morning is a joint effort between me and my wife but it’s still manic and that’s even before we’ve got out the door!
Whether your walking to school, travelling by car or using public transport there are important things all parents can teach their children so they arrive safely at school each and every day.
AXA have put together a really helpful and useful guide for parents so you can teach your children important lessons about travelling to school safely – https://www.axa.ie/articles/driving/travelling-to-school-safely-a-guide-for-parents/
If you don’t have the time to read the guide fully, they’ve also created a short video which is only 56 seconds long, so I urge you to at least watch this!
Learn The Basics
Did you know that children under the age of 12 cant actually gauge how far away a car is or how fast it’s going! For this reason it’s crucial that children cross the road accompanied by an adult.
Teaching your children the rules of the road is the best place to start. You could do this by taking your children on the school run when it’s not as busy to act as a test run.
Whilst on your test runs, make sure to show your children how to cross the road safely.
Also, don’t forget that children are like sponges and will copy most things they see their parents doing. So it’s really important that you follow the rules of the road and set a good example for your kids!
Something that is also recommended for children on the school run is high-vis clothing. This will ensure other road users can clearly see your children and will keep everyone safe!
Driving To School
If you drive your children to school there are a number of things to consider.
Many of the things you need to think about are obvious but still important!
- Child restraints should be worn by children at all times during the car journey to school
- Ensure that children are unable to open windows or doors whilst the car is moving
- It is really important to follow the schools drop off and pick up rules
- Make sure you look out for children running in between cars because they can be difficult to see
- Children should always exit the car onto the pathway instead of the road
- It’s also imperative that you pay close attention to any traffic wardens about during the school run as this will decrease the risk of accidents happening
Walking To School
If you and your children walk to school, there are rules that should be followed to ensure the safety of everyone.
- If your child is getting to the age where they feel comfortable walking to school on their own then make sure they are fully happy with the route by going on a few trial runs during quieter times
- To give you peace of mind, why not let your children lead the way to school! This will allow them to get familiar with the route and they will feel much more comfortable
- This is a given but make sure you are always holding their hand whilst walking to school
- Ensure all devices are out of sight to avoid any distractions
- Make sure your children know the best and safest places to cross the road, whether it’s a zebra crossing or traffic lights
- You can also encourage children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road just as you would do yourself
Cycling To School
As with the other methods of getting to school, cycling brings about a range of other things you need to take into consideration to stay safe!
Obviously it goes without saying that children shouldn’t be allowed on the road with their bike until they are super confident. It’s also really important that they understand they are seen as another road user when on their bikes so need to follow the same rules as drivers.
- Make sure you cycle within the designated cycling lanes but if these aren’t present then you need to be on the left hand side of the road
- Before using a bike on the road, make sure reflectors are present, that the bell works properly, ensure tyres are in good condition and that any lights work
- As with walking to school, it’s important to cycle the route during a quieter time to get them used to it
- Ensure your child always wears a helmet because they are a life saving piece of equipment
There is also a range of things to consider when using public transport which you can find within AXA’s guide!
As you can see there is lots to think about and regardless of which method of travel you use, the main goal is to ensure the safety of your children, yourself and others around you.
I really urge you check out their guide and also the video to makes sure you and your family are well equipped for the manic time of day that is the school run!