The start of a new school year can be scary for many parents, as it means letting your children go into a world where they will face many pressures and risks without you by their side, guiding them throughout the day. Although the new school year can present a new set of risks, as a parent, you can share back to school safety reminders with your children to help them make the best decisions possible. Here are three back to school safety reminders to share with your kids:
- Say No to Smoking, Including E-Cigarettes and Juuling
Unfortunately, e-cigarettes and JUULs, which look like a USB flash drive, are popular with many teens. Did you know that one JUUL pod has the same about of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes? Nicotine is not just addictive, but it’s harmful to the body and brain as well. The CDC has reported nicotine can be harmful to adolescent brain development. E-cigarettes also contain other harmful ingredients such as heavy metals like tin, nickel, and lead, in addition to harmful particles that can be inhaled into the lungs.
- Distracted Walking and Driving is Extremely Dangerous
Distracted driving is not a new danger but is one worth reiterating especially with new laws going into effect. Remind your teen driver that it is now completely illegal to text and drive, meaning that they can be pulled over and ticketed for texting while driving as a primary offense. This law becomes more severe in school zones and construction zones, where using a phone while behind the wheel is completely prohibited. Does your child think they are safer walking while texting? Think again. Not only are they at risk of tripping, but texting and walking can cause someone walk into traffic or other dangerous situations that could easily be avoided if he or she is paying full attention to where they are going.
- Transportation Safety
If your child is not driving yet, it’s possible that he or she bikes, walks, takes a bus, or rideshare to school and other activities. Remind your child to think smart when using alternative forms of transportation. Not only should they be paying attention to all signs, signals, and safety warnings, but in no circumstances should a child take a ride from a stranger. It’s a good idea to remind your children to call or text a parent in the event that someone tells them it’s OK to get in a strange car.
Ridesharing has also become a popular mode of transportation for adults and teens. If your child is using Uber or Lyft, teach them to always check the license plate of the car to ensure that it matches their app. Signage on the car alone is not enough to qualify the driver. Secondly, ask your kids to share their location and ride with you through the ridesharing service app so that you can watch their trip via the app on your phone and see when they arrive at their destination.
A new school year means a fresh start for many, and an excellent time to refresh your child’s memory on the ways that they can remain safe without you around. In the event that you find the negligence of another has injured your child, contact us at Panter, Panter, and Sampedro for a free consultation at (305) 662-6178.