Back-to-school safety tips

Happy September Calgary! Yes, summer is over but now we welcome autumn with its crisp mornings and multi-coloured leaves littering the streets. The city gears up for back-to-school with stationary sales, 2-for-1 jean deals and an influx of tasty snacks at the grocery store. As excited as kids get for this time of year, it’s also important to properly educate them and yourselves on the necessary safety precautions. Here are some back-to-school tips to ensure that everyone has a great September and school year.

Road Safety

Back-to-school means an influx of school buses on the roads, children crossing the street and more traffic around school hours. It is important to remember the following road safety tips to keep yourself and your community accident-free during this time:


o   You MUST stop the car when you meet a school bus with flashing red lights going in either direction unless the road has a median. Failure to do this could result in a fine anywhere from $400 to $2,000 as well as 6 demerit points.

o   School buses are required to stop at all railroad crossings, so follow cautiously.

o   Obey speed signs in school zones to ensure child safety as well as avoid a hefty fine.

o   Watch for pedestrians around the school area. Children will be walking from their homes and often forget to look each way for traffic.

o   If you are unable to walk or drive your child to school, ask around the neighbourhood for other parents who may be able to accompany him/her.


Child Safety

On the road:

o   Always wear a helmet when riding your bike.

o   Stop at every intersection to look and listen in each direction for oncoming traffic.

o   Always walk on designated sidewalks.


Personal Safety

o   Ensure that your child knows their full name, address, phone number and a way to contact you if needed.

o   Teach your child how to get to and from school safely in case they need to do this alone.

o   Educate your child in safe places to go, such as schools and open playgrounds, versus unsafe places to go, like back alleys and vacant lots.

o   Teach your child how to contact the police in an emergency and non-emergency situation.


Stranger Safety

We all heard the ‘Stranger Danger’ talk when we were kids. This is an important issue to discuss with your child without scaring them.

o   Do not talk to strangers.

o   If a strange adult asks you for help, remember that an adult should ask other adults for help, not kids.

o   Do not take anything from a stranger, whether it is candy, money or a toy.

o   If a stranger asks you to go somewhere with them, say no.

o   Never tell a stranger that you are home alone or that you don’t know where your parents are.

o   If a stranger tries to grab you, yell loudly, kick furiously and run as fast as you can until you are somewhere safe.


Let’s have a safe September Calgary and enjoy the back-to-school season!