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Back-to-School Safety

Consumer Product Safety Commission

While you’re scrambling to pull together fall clothes and school supplies, and sort through your transportation options, be sure to keep a few safety tips in mind:

  1. Many schools are now joining the First Lady’s Let’s Move Initiative and/or the Safe Routes program to encourage walking or biking to school. Whether you’re part of one of these movements or your child already rides a bike or scooter to school, be sure that he/she wears a properly fitted helmet. The helmet should fit snuggly, be flat on top of the head and have a buckled chin strap. It should not move up and down or from side to side. Make sure to replace any helmets that have been in an accident. Helmets only do their job once!
  2. Helmets belong on the head when riding a bicycle, but not when playing on a playground. Teach your child to take the helmet off before he or she plays on a playground. Bike helmets can get stuck in openings on playground equipment, causing a child to strangle.
  3. One item that doesn’t belong near a child’s neck is a drawstring. So, look closely at your child’s jackets, “hoodies,” or sweatshirts to ensure there are no drawstrings in the upper portion of the garment. You also should take a look at waist or bottom drawstrings on your child’s jackets and other upper clothing. New regulations specify that you shouldn’t be able to see more than 3 inches of the string when the clothes are stretched wide. CPSC has received 26 reports of children who died when the drawstring on their clothing became tangled on playground slides, school bus doors and other objects. Waist and bottom drawstrings have been caught in doors or other car parts resulting in dragging incidents.
  4. Is soccer your child’s sport? If so, CPSC recommends that soccer coaches, school officials and soccer field maintenance personnel anchor goals to the ground so they do not fall over and cause a serious injury or death.
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