Back To School Safety For Children That Ride A Bicycle To School

Back To School Safety For Children That Ride A Bicycle To School

As children get older many often prefer riding a bicycle to school as opposed to riding on a school bus. With that said, there are several essential safety precautions children should be instructed on when riding a bicycle to and from school. For example, wearing a helmet is perhaps one of the most basic and most important aspects of staying safe on a bicycle. A helmet is a key piece of gear that is designed to protect the head from injuries.

The Helmet

For a helmet to be totally effective it should fit correctly and should be positioned low on the forehead. In most instances, there should be the equivalent of about two fingers of space between the eyebrows and the edge of the helmet. Equally important is to ensure that children are instructed on the rules of the road when riding near or around vehicular traffic. If there is ever any question with regard to children fully understanding the rules of the road, a parent should always accompany a child riding a bicycle to school.

Make Eye Contact

Another key safety strategy for children riding bicycles to school is to always ride on the right side of the road. Moving in the same direction as motor vehicles is typically the safest strategy. In addition, children riding a bicycle should always be taught to come to a complete stop before crossing streets or intersections. Another great way of improving safety is to make eye contact with drivers of automobiles and look for some type of signal from the driver that it is okay to cross. It is this mutual unspoken agreement that often provides the greatest levels of safety.

Riding Skills

Parents should also ensure children riding bicycles to school have brightly colored clothing on as a way to increase visibility. While children normally do not ride bicycles at night when traveling to or from school, those who do ride a bicycle at night should have adequate lighting and reflectors. Finally, it is always a good idea to work with children to improve their riding skills with regard to riding a bicycle. Children who are more skilled riders are less likely to be involved in some type of incident or accident. Contact Hastings & Hastings today to learn more about a Phoenix Arizona accident attorney with years of experience in helping accident victims.

Safety Tips For Motorists That Share The Road With School Buses

Safety Tips For Motorists That Share The Road With School Buses

Back to school can be a busy time of the year especially for those who routinely travel on roads where school buses make frequent stops. One of the best ways to ensure the greatest level of safety when operating a motor vehicle around school buses is to follow some basic safety tips. For example, in virtually every state in the country it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children.

Red Flashing Lights And A Stop Sign

This type of activity carries a heavy fine but more importantly can injure children. Drivers should always play it safe and exercise extreme caution when operating around school buses. In addition, drivers should pay particular attention to the flashing lights that are typically displayed by a school bus. Flashing yellow lights indicate to motorists that a school bus is about to stop. While red flashing lights and a stop sign that is extended from the bus indicates the children are entering or exiting the school bus.

Entering Or Exiting The Bus

Motorists should heed to all school bus lighting as a way to keep safety always in check. As an added note, vehicular traffic in both directions on an undivided road should be prepared to stop when a school bus is loading or unloading children. Another essential safety tip that sometimes goes overlooked is providing adequate space when stopping for a school bus. In general, drivers should stop 10 to 12 feet from a school bus as to allow children the space they need when entering or exiting the bus.

Ensure The Highest Levels Of Safety

Finally, drivers of motorcycles, automobiles and trucks should exercise extreme caution when operating near a school bus or bus stop. Children are typically unpredictable and erratic in behavior. This means children can dart out in front of a vehicle or even crawl under a large truck unexpectedly. Drivers should stay proactive and carefully watch children as they enter or exit the school bus to ensure the highest levels of safety at all times. As an added note it is never acceptable to pass a bus on the right side. This is an illegal activity that can have serious consequences including resulting in tragic accidents. Contact Hastings & Hastings today for a Phoenix accident lawyer that is dedicated and focused.

Tips For Children Getting On And Off A School Bus

Tips For Children Getting On And Off A School Bus

Riding a school bus to school is one of the biggest thrills for children. However, there are some important key safety considerations that must be taken into account for children who routinely ride on a school bus. For example, as a bus arrives at the bus stop children should be taught to stand at least 6 to 8 feet away from the curb. This helps to ensure that children who are playing or bouncing around will not trip, fall or land in front of a bus as it is approaching.

Making Actual Eye Contact

Children should also be instructed never to walk behind a school bus. In addition, making sure the bus driver can see children and adults alike is a good safety precaution. Making actual eye contact with the bus driver and signaling the driver or the driver signaling parents or children can only serve to increase overall levels of safety. Equally important is to ensure that if something is dropped near a bus that children notify the bus driver rather than try to pick up something that has rolled under the bus or near the tires.

Visual Contact With Children

Getting off of the school bus also entails certain safety considerations. For example, as with getting onto a bus, getting off a bus in the safest way possible means that the bus driver always is in visual contact with children. Children should also wait for a signal from the bus driver prior to crossing in front of the bus or crossing a street where the bus is or will be traveling. Children should be taught the importance of staying alert after exiting a school bus.

Proper Behavior When Actually Riding On The Bus

Cars, trucks and motorcycles all sharing the road with a school bus. This is reason enough for children to be extremely alert when exiting a school bus at the end of the day. These simple and important safety guidelines can greatly increase overall safety for children that routinely ride a bus to and from school. Children should also be instructed on proper behavior when actually riding on the bus. Horseplay, or sticking arms out of the windows of the school bus can be hazardous. Contact Hastings & Hastings to learn more about Phoenix personal injury legal assistance that gets results.

Back To School Safety Tips For Children That Walk To School

Back To School Safety Tips For Children That Walk To School

Each year tens of thousands of children return back to school like clockwork. With that said, it is worth considering several important safety tips intended to keep children safe while walking to school. Generally speaking, those who live in close proximity to school will find that walking is typically the most convenient way of getting back and forth to school. As such, taking safety precautions to ensure children are always safe when walking is essential.

Safety Advantage

One excellent safety tip for children who walk to school is to walk in a group as much as possible. When children are grouped together and led by an adult, the safety factor rises exponentially. Children should also be taught to walk on the sidewalk when one is available in route to school. While there is no “correct side” of the sidewalk, children should be instructed to walk facing oncoming traffic as a way to gain the greatest safety advantage. Children should also be taught that crossing a street should be done at an intersection.

Logic And Comprehension

As an added note, ensuring children under the age of ten never cross a street without the guidance of an adult is a good idea. It is a known fact that younger children simply do not have the logic and comprehension necessary to safely navigate streets and roads on their own. Children should also be instructed on the importance of never darting out in front of a parked vehicle. This sets the stage for a dangerous situation where the driver of an automobile will simply not be able to see a child as they emerge between parked cars.

Stop And Look

Equally important is to ensure children do not run in an environment where automobiles are present. Getting the message across to kids that walking when around intersections, roads, parking lots and other locations is vital to maintaining the highest levels of safety at all times. Running increases the likelihood of being struck by a vehicle and also increases the chances of falling and becoming injured. Finally, teaching children to always stop and look in every direction for cars prior to stepping off of the curb is a smart practice. Contact Hastings & Hastings today to learn more about a focused and experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney that offers discounted fees to clients.

Child Pedestrian Safety Precautions For Drivers Of Motor Vehicles

Child Pedestrian Safety Precautions For Drivers Of Motor Vehicles

Operating a motor vehicle when school is back in session involves being more cautious and more careful than would otherwise be the case. This is an important consideration so as to increase safety when sharing the road with child pedestrians. It is a proven fact that the young and elderly are typically the most common victims of automobile and pedestrian related collisions. Drivers should always remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections.

Blocking A Crosswalk

One important safety precaution for drivers operating around school zones, bus stops, buses and school areas is to never block a crosswalk when stopping at a red light. This is equally true when stopping to make a right-hand turn. Blocking the crosswalk can cause confusion in children and ultimately may result in an accident. Blocking a crosswalk can easily put children and adults alike in a risky or hazardous situation. Also important and worth noting is when operating in a school zone where flashes are blinking that a motor vehicle operator must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

Highly Unpredictable Pedestrians

In addition, automobile drivers should be prepared to stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard or school patrol sign. Crossing guards should be watched closely and their instructions should be followed with great care. Because children are considered to be highly unpredictable pedestrians and because they are difficult to see it is critical to stay proactive when operating a motor vehicle in an area where children are present. Drivers should also refrain from honking a horn or causing some other type of distraction that could result in children becoming confused or panicked.

Operate A Vehicle In A Slow And Meticulous Manner

It is no surprise that a child pedestrian is more at risk on the road than an adult. That is why it is so essential to exercise extreme caution and always be proactive when operating a motor vehicle in a school zone or in any other type of area where children may be present. From playgrounds to residential areas and even parking lots, children can be difficult to see. Drivers should play it safe and operate a vehicle in a slow and meticulous manner when children are present or suspected to be present. Contact Hastings & Hastings to learn more about Phoenix personal injury law.

Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips For Those That Love To Shop

Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips For Those That Love To Shop

Almost everyone knows by now that Black Friday is the first “Friday” shopping day that follows Thanksgiving. Some see this as an important date because it marks the very beginning of the Christmas shopping season where deals abound. This is also a time when many retailers open very early and in many cases stay open later than usual. A valid concern of shoppers that choose to partake in Black Friday shopping is that vehicular and pedestrian traffic can be exceedingly heavy. It is not surprising that certain dangers and hazards may be present that are worth taking note of prior to heading out to rub elbows with other shoppers. Following a few sensible tips for staying safe and avoiding injury can make the entire experience much more rewarding.

Risk For A Collision

For example, driving to and from retail outlets on this epic shopping day presents the increased risk of a potential collision. Much of this is due to increased vehicular congestion on the roads where shoppers may be in a panic to beat out other shoppers on a great deal. Some useful advice is to simply arrive early and use alternate routes if possible. Avoiding the mad rush can avert a collision and possible injury. Being extra alert for frenzied drivers and slowing down can help as well. Shopping is great fun, but becoming a traffic statistic or fatality is never fun.

Risk Of Tripping Or Falling

Another big concern of those willing to “brave” the crowd on this popular sale day is the potential for a fall or tripping event. As with driving to the store or mall, those on foot during this busy time run the risk of being pushed, shoved or even trampled. Wise shoppers can play it safe and avoid frenzied crowds whenever possible. While everyone enjoys a great bargain, a broken limb or perhaps worse is never a fair trade for saving a few dollars. Exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings to avoid a slip and fall accident on Black Friday.

This message brought to you as a courtesy of Hastings & Hastings, an Arizona personal injury law firm with more than 30 years of experience.

Safety Tips For Children Riding In A Car

Safety Tips For Children Riding In A Car

Children can sometimes present a major distraction for adults operating a motor vehicle. With that said, there are some straightforward and easy-to-implement safety tips that can greatly increase overall safety when operating a motor vehicle with children as passengers. For example, teaching children to immediately buckle up when they enter an automobile can help to reduce the chances of a child missing this important safety step.

Yelling And Jumping Around

Children should also be instructed to never share a safety belt with another child. This is an unsafe condition that can easily result in serious injury if there is ever a crash. Teach kids to never distract the driver of an automobile. This includes teaching children to sit quietly and calmly while in the back of an automobile. Yelling and jumping around has caused many accidents over the years. Taking the time to explain in detail to children why it is important to not distract the driver is well worth the effort.

Height And Weight Requirements

Another key safety consideration when operating a motor vehicle with children on board is to always keep children under the age of 12 in the backseat. This is especially important when children are riding in an automobile that has airbags. Children under 12 can be seriously and even fatally injured by airbags. Parents should always play it safe and keep children under 12 years of age in the backseat without exception. Equally important is to ensure that a booster seat is used for children who do not meet the height and weight requirements to sit comfortably in the rear seat of an automobile without a booster.

Cause A Major Distraction To A Driver

From driving children to school to running errands with children in a car, there are many instances where children can become injured if there is ever a crash or impact. Following these simple yet important safety tips can go a long way in keeping children safe while operating a motor vehicle. Children should also be taught the importance of never throwing anything in an automobile that is moving. Tossing items around the back of a car that may land in the front seat can cause a major distraction to a driver. Contact Hastings & Hastings today to learn more about Phoenix personal injury law for those who have been injured through no fault of their own.

Choosing A Children’s Backpack Carefully As A Way To Reduce Injury

Choosing A Children’s Backpack Carefully As A Way To Reduce Injury

Backpacks come in all styles, colors, shapes and sizes. However, choosing the right backpack is one of the most important aspects of ensuring that children do not experience sprains, strains and even fractures. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of choosing a backpack is simply selecting one that is ergonomically designed. A properly designed backpack that is focused on ergonomics can greatly enhance comfort and safety.

Designed To Transfer Weight From The Shoulders And Back

In addition, a backpack that is properly padded can greatly reduce pressure on all segments of the back, under arms and shoulders. Most importantly, a properly padded backpack is more comfortable and more enjoyable to wear. Another key component of a quality backpack that is intended to reduce injury is one that has chest belts or hip belts. These belts are designed to transfer weight from the shoulders and back to the torso and hips. Equally important is to find a backpack that has a variety of compartments.

Help To Stabilize Items And Contents In A Backpack

This is an important aspect of choosing a backpack because it allows the wearer to more evenly distribute weight throughout the backpack. It also increases safety and security of items being carried. An added advantage of choosing a backpack with many compartments is that it makes access to contents easier and more convenient. Another sign that a backpack is quality designed is when it has compression straps. These straps are important because they help to stabilize items and contents in a backpack. By compressing the contents of a backpack it becomes more manageable and easier to carry.

Choose A Better Backpack

Finally, one excellent safety tip with regard to choosing a backpack is to select one that has highly reflective material. A backpack that is manufactured of quality reflective material can greatly enhance the visibility of a child especially during the night hours. When all these considerations are taken into account, parents are typically far more likely to choose a better backpack for their children. As an added note, children should be taught how to properly lift a heavy backpack. Simple instructions such as bending at the knees and using the legs to lift can go a long way in keeping children safe and injury free. Contact Hastings & Hastings for Phoenix personal injury legal assistance today.

Tips On Improving Playground Safety

Tips On Improving Playground Safety

Tens of thousands of children are admitted to hospital emergency rooms each year because of playground related injuries. Surprisingly, a large percentage of playground related injuries could be prevented. Following a few tips with regard to improving playground safety can help to ensure children are able to jump, run and swing safely without becoming injured. Perhaps one of the best ways to reduce injuries in and around playgrounds is to provide a soft surface for children to come into contact with while playing.

Playground Equipment

Some of the more frequently used materials intended to provide a playground with a soft surface includes everything from rubber mats to sand and wood fibers as well as wood chips and mulch. Even shredded tires are used on occasion to create a soft surface for children to play on. Concrete and other hard surfaces should be avoided as a way to prevent injury. Swings are a common piece of playground equipment that can easily injure children. It is important to ensure that swing seats are soft. This includes avoiding the use of wood or metal seats.

Good Traction

In addition, bucket seat swings are always recommended for infants and very young children. When allowing young children to swing in a bucket seat parents should be alert in monitoring children as they swing. Equally of concern is the condition of slides in a playground area. Slides should always be secured and well anchored. Steps should have good traction and handrails should be firm and secure. Children should be instructed to always sit down and hold on when sliding. Walking up or down a slide is a sure way to become injured.

Serious Injuries

Parents should also ensure that children do not wear loose clothing or clothing with drawstrings. Pieces of clothing and drawstrings can easily become caught in a slide or other playground accessory. Finally, children can easily become injured when climbing in a playground environment. In fact, playground falls are one of the most common accidents that result in serious injuries on the playground. Adult supervision and assistance is always the best way to reduce the chances of a child falling while playing around a playground. Exercising extreme caution when it comes to children climbing in and around a playground can greatly reduce the chances of accidents and injury. Contact Hastings & Hastings today to learn more about Phoenix personal injury attorney assistance.

Backpack Safety Tips For Children Of All Ages

Backpack Safety Tips For Children Of All Ages

Backpacks are all the rage today for schoolchildren and even adults. With that said, there are some important safety considerations with regard to backpack use that can reduce the chances of injury. For example, overloaded backpacks are one of the most common situations that result in injury. In fact, some injuries such as shoulder and back fractures can easily result from a heavily overloaded backpack. A backpack should generally weigh less than 20% of the child’s total body weight.

Overall Level Of Fitness

While this is a general guideline, some experts even recommend that a backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s body weight. Many considerations must be taken into account with regard to how heavy a backpack is for a child. For example the child’s overall level of fitness and strength can have a direct impact on how much weight can safely be carried. Heavy backpacks tend to cause children to lean forward causing strains and sprains. It is also important to make sure that loads are evenly distributed in the backpack.

Wearing Both Shoulder Straps Evenly

The heaviest items when loading a backpack should be at the bottom. This helps to reduce stress and strain on the shoulders and ultimately results in improved posture. Children should also be instructed to wear both backpack straps in the correct way. Wearing one strap results in an imbalance that can cause lower back pain and muscle related problems. Children who get into the habit of wearing both shoulder straps evenly will find that weight is better distributed resulting in a more balanced and better-managed load.

Stress And Strain

Equally of concern is ensuring that the right size backpack is selected for a child depending on their physical size and weight. When selecting a backpack it is important to ensure that the pack fits well and positions comfortably on the back of the child. It should rest evenly in the middle of the child’s back. Shoulder straps can then be adjusted as necessary so the child can take off or put on a backpack without undue stress and strain. The straps should be adjusted so as to prevent a backpack from hanging too low below the back. Contact Hastings & Hastings, a Phoenix personal injury lawyer if you have been injured through no fault of your own.