Tips For Going Back To School

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Steel Market Development Institute. The opinions and text are all mine.

Back to school concept with chalkboard

Who’s finding it a little more difficult to get to work on time, lately?  Just before the school season began, my husband received two police warnings to slow down near school zones.  One such heavily trafficked area on his way to work was the subject of a detail aimed at catching speeding comuters, that identified thirty-three speeders going ten or more mph over the speed limit.  Eric was not one of them, as he is now very careful to adhere to the posted speed limits.

The building amount of traffic and the arrival of school busses and more bikers can have a negative impact on the commuter, but if a child were injured or killed because of an impatient or unthoughtful act, that would be tragic.  Where it comes to child safety on the road, school zone speed limits are just the beginning.  There are many considerations to bear in mind while children are present and walking to school.  But back to school safety doesn’t stop there.  Keeping your child and the children of other parents in your carpool safe is just as important and often disregarded. * Though children under the age of 7 are statistically in more danger on their way to school, your college kids will need to practice some safe packing for the journey back to school and home again.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t let out an occasional sigh of frustration when I see a school bus in front of me, but it is so important to remember to stay back a safe distance and be ready to stop when they do.  The ten feet surrounding the school bus are the most dangerous for children.  Remember, that kids can be unpredictable and take risks, and they don’t always pay attention.  Show extra care and caution around school busses and never pass them when they are stopped to pick up and drop of children.  If you are taking your child to school, it is important to familiarize yourself with the drop off procedures at that school.  Biker safety is also very important.  Remember to use extra caution around children on bikes as they will not always signal.  If you are making a right turn, don’t crowd the crosswalk, and if there is a bike behind you, let them pass before you go.

Child in a car chair

Keep your little ones inside the car safe by using a booster seat when necessary.  The laws very regarding who needs to use a booster seat and the age range reaches up to nine.  Every child is different, so if a traditional seat belt does not secure your child safely, she may need a safety seat. Some things to keep in mind are Whether or not your child sits all the way back in the seat with legs bending comfortably around the edge.  If the lap restraint rests above the hip, crossing over the abdomen.  A booster seat is needed.  The restraint should rest against bone, not soft flesh.  That goes for the shoulder restraint as well, which should rest evenly between the neck and the arm.  Parents in car pools should openly communicate expectations so that child safety is not at risk due to exposure to friends, or other parents.

One of the best ways to drive safe is by making the car you drive safer.  Cars manufactured with advanced high-strength steels are the fastest-growing materials in automotive design.  One of the biggest reasons for that is safety.  In addition to making cars safer to drive, they make a car more lightweight, fuel-efficient, affordable.  Those things may never be more important than when going off to college.  You can find out more here.

Group of girls having fun with the car

If you are attending college away from home, safe packing is also important.  The way you pack affects visibility and the balance of the car.  To maintain safe operation of your vehicle, you will need to pay attention to the maximum load capacity and pack the heaviest items as close to the center and low to the floor as possible.  That way you will have a minimum impact on your steering and keep from consuming extra gas.  Make sure everything is secure so objects aren’t thrown around if you have to brake hard and don’t pack so high that you can’t see out the back window.  Be selective about what you need to bring and be prepared to shop for some items when you reach your destination rather than trying to take everything with you.  For clothes, pack only what is seasonal and remember to pack an emergency kit with flares, fire extinguisher, and jumper cables.

With this tips in mind I hope everyone has a safe and fun school year.  Did you learn anything cool?  Let me know what your favorite tip is in the comments, or add your own! Check out the Facebook and Steel Market Development Institute Blog
*A 2012 study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 64% of parents carpool. Of those, 55% parents who use a safety seat have their child use a booster when riding with friends and 21% do not always ask other drivers to use a booster.