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Back to School Safety Tips for New Jersey residents

By Lependorf & Silverstein on August 22, 2015

Back to School NJAnother summer in New Jersey has come and gone. It’s time to get your children new backpacks, shop for school clothes and stock up on pencils, folders and notebooks. It’s also a great time to remind your child about how to stay safe this school year. Whether your child walks, rides their bike or takes the bus, it can be dangerous to get to and from school.

If your child has a phone, remind them to put the phone away while walking. Just like driving while distracted is dangerous, so is walking while texting. Your child must remember to look both ways and to continue checking traffic conditions while crossing the road. Thanks in large part to the increase in cell phone use, the National Safety Council reports that kids between the ages of 15 to 19 are now the most likely group to be hit by a car.

Pedestrian accidents are not the only way your child can suffer harm this school year. Even backpacks can cause injuries. Bags that are too heavy can cause back and shoulder pain, as well as poor posture. Make sure you find a bag that has an ergonomic design, is the appropriate size for your child, has padded straps, has multiple compartments to distribute the weight and has reflective material to help your child stand out when near traffic.

If your child is young enough to have recess at school, remind him or her about playground safety. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 200,000 children are taken to the emergency room each year for playground injuries. It may be in your best interest to evaluate the playground and see if the school should be notified of any dangerous conditions. It is unacceptable for New Jersey playgrounds to have insufficient protective surfacing, to have protrusion hazards, trip hazards, head entrapment hazards or a lack of supervision.

Last but not least, there are tips you and your child should remember if they ride the bus. When waiting for the school bus to arrive, make sure your child stays away from traffic and doesn’t play near the roadway. Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before approaching the doors and use the handrail when boarding.

We at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. wish you and your child a safe and happy school year. Please remember to teach your child safe habits and to research your legal options when someone else’s negligence causes your child harm.

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