Motorist, pedestrian safety tips for parents and young children preparing for school

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – School is almost in session and members of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office want to help keep children safe as they transition from summer break to classrooms.

The priority to keep children safe is higher for younger children and those going to school for the very first time.

As school opens, dangers to the safety of children also start, officials say.

Parents can help children stay safe by sharing the roads with school buses, pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the sheriff’s office. They also say children should be equipped with the knowledge of safety precautions.

Children should know the danger signs to watch for and avoid when traveling between school and home.

Parents can teach their children the following safety tips:

  • While walking, remember to always travel with a friend.  Two heads are better than one, especially if there’s an emergency.
  • A stranger is anyone you or your parents don’t know well.
  • You or your friend must never take candy, money, medicine or anything else from a stranger.
  • If a stranger in a car asks you questions, don’t get close to the car.
  • Don’t tell anyone your name or address when you’re walking and don’t think that because someone knows your name that they know you – they may just be looking at your name printed on your lunch box, school bag or T-shirt.
  • If you think you’re in any danger, yell, and run to the nearest law enforcement officer, store, “safe house” or back to school.
  • Always tell your parents or teacher if a stranger has approached you.

Chief Deputy Ennis Wright says it’s easy for children to get into a routine in traveling back and forth to school.

“Children should remind themselves – and be reminded by parents – that practicing safety every day can save them from serious injury,” Sheriff Butler said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 19 school-aged children dies in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year.

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