Constable Care Child Foundation urges vigilance as children head back to school after the long summer break
WA parents and motorists are being reminded about road safety risks as children across the state get ready to begin the 2024 school year next week.
Constable Care Foundation CEO, Ian Anstee, has appealed for parents to talk to their children about getting to and from school safely and for motorists to be vigilant especially around schools and school zones come 31st January when school resumes.
“Too many children suffered injuries last year which is not only traumatic for the child involved but also affects the parents, relatives and friends, as well as any driver that hits a child,” Mr Anstee said. “At the beginning of a new school year, children are often excited, distracted and not yet in a routine so it is important to have a safety conversation with them.”
Parents are encouraged to:
- Do a ‘test run’ with children before school starts so that they are familiar with the process and know the most direct route and the safest places to cross roads, meet parents or walk home
- Talk to children about protective behaviours and remind them not to talk to strangers or accept a lift home unless it has been pre-organised
- Discuss a ‘secret password’ if someone else is organised to pick up your child from school that hasn’t be pre-arranged
- Parents and Carers taking images of children in their school uniform are recommended to block out the school’s name, ensure they lock down privacy settings and to share only with people you know and trust. To avoid being a cyber security risk, don’t post images of the child’s year, teachers name, or images outside of the school or in front of their school bus.
- Talk to your children about friending strangers, or newly met friends on social platforms and what is and isn’t safe to share. Sadly, a new school year often sees a spike in online grooming.
- Reinforce children should avoid walking or riding near buses and other dangerous blind spots
- Be alert around driveway safety. Supervise your children before turning on your car. Separate play areas from the driveway, see where children are before reversing. If you don’t know – Don’t go.
- Remind children that if they are riding to school, helmets are a must
- Parents should obey road rules and not double park for children pick-up or block roads around school zones
- Expect the unexpected in the first few weeks as children are often distracted and out of routine
When school returns next week, drivers are being warned to slow down, be aware of their surroundings around their own driveways, schools and school zones and stay off mobile phones. WA Police will no doubt be out enforcing the 40km per hour speed limit in school zones.
It is also an opportune time for teachers to utilise the Constable Care Safety School, which has helped over 40,000 primary school children learn vital road safety skills that could one day save their life.
“Teachers can play their part in ensuring 2024 is a safe one for their young charges by booking a ‘must-do’ school excursion at our world-class facility,” Mr Anstee advised. “Children learn bike, pedestrian and public transport safety skills in a safe environment, potentially leading to fewer injuries in children travelling to and from school.”
For more information visit www.constablecare.com.au