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First Student and NSC Urge Parents to be Informed on Back-to-School Safety Risks
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First Student and NSC Urge Parents to be Informed on Back-to-School Safety Risks

August 19, 2014

CINCINNATI – The back-to-school season is a time that can be stressful for both parents and students. For this reason, First Student has partnered with the National Safety Council (NSC) to highlight school safety tips at

“We are pleased to once again to partner with the National Safety Council to highlight back to school safety,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student. “Getting students to and from school safely is a top priority for parents and caregivers. The safety information provided during this campaign allows students, parents and motorists to see the critical role they play in the process.” School safety covers a variety of topics, such as school buses, backpacks, playgrounds and more. By following these simple tips, children can be better prepared as the school year begins:

  • Look for a backpack with multiple compartments and padding to evenly distribute weight on your child’s back.
  • Encourage your child to play on soft surfaces during recess.
  • Educate your child on how to be a good passenger on a school bus – including clearing aisles and staying seated.
  • When the school bus arrives, have your kids stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb.
  • Children should always walk on the sidewalk, if available; if not, have them walk facing traffic.

“Starting a new school year is an exciting milestone for families across the nation,” said Deborah Hersman, NSC president and CEO. “Sadly, this time of the year also brings new risks that parents and children should discuss. Nothing is more important than the safety of your children, so talking about these issues as a family is a first step in prevention.”

Motorists also need to be aware of the sudden change in number of children walking to and from the bus stop and school in the morning and afternoon. Sun glare can be a factor during these times, and drivers need to exercise extra caution. School buses use red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm to indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting off the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop at a safe distance from the bus. Passing a stopped school bus is illegal in all 50 states.