Back-to-school safety reminders for students of all ages

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Usually I address my articles to adults, but this one is for students who are about to start the new school year.

Going back to school is cool, because you get to see old friends and meet some new ones.

Here are some helpful reminders for you:

How are you going to get to school?

• If your parents take you, great! Just make sure you wear your seatbelt or you are in a car seat.

• If you ride the school bus, be sure to stay in your seat during the ride. Be courteous so the bus driver can concentrate.

Keep a safe distance from the bus while you are waiting - about five giant steps. Wait until the bus driver signals you to come onto the bus before you get too close. Use the handrails when going on or off the bus.

• If you walk or ride your bike to school, make sure you are always with someone. Pay attention to all the traffic laws, and be extra careful at intersections. Don't forget to wear your helmet!

Carrying your stuff to school:

• Make sure you have a good backpack with nice padded straps. This can get heavy, and you don't want the straps hurting your shoulders.

Always use both straps; carrying your backpack over one shoulder can really strain your shoulders, and you'll get lopsided. Rolling backpacks are always a great idea.

• Every night, go through your backpack and take out what you don't need for the next day. It will lighten your load.

• Always put the heaviest items at the bottom of your backpack.

When you're in the classroom:

Your teachers will have their own rules for the classroom, but here are some other things to think about:

• If someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, then don't do it! Trust yourself if it doesn't seem right.

• If you get in an argument with someone, use words to try to work it out. Fighting will only get you hurt and in big trouble.

• If anything is bothering you about school, talk to a trusted grownup.

Work hard and learn as much as you can. It will take you far in life!

Cinda Seamon is the fire and life safety educator for the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue.

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