School is back in session and children will be walking, riding bikes and riding on school buses. Students and parents should keep in mind safety concerns associated with returning to school, DODDS-Pacific officials say.

Walking and bikingEven if your children don’t ride the school bus, they still need to protect themselves and be careful getting to and from school. Because of minimal supervision, young pedestrians face a variety of decisions and possible dangers. Here are a few basic safety tips to follow:

Parents need to work out a route to school with children. Choose the quickest way with the fewest street crossings and use intersections with crossing guards.Make sure children biking or skating to school wear helmets.Teach your children to cross a street at the crosswalk and to look “right, left and right” in Japan because the traffic comes from the opposite direction than in the States.Riding the school busSchool bus transportation is safe. Even so, approximately 26 students were killed and another 9,000 were injured last year in the United States in incidents involving school buses. More often than not, these deaths and injuries occurred not in crashes but as students were entering and exiting buses.

Here are simple safety tips kids for kids to remember:

Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before your bus is scheduled to pick you up.Always stand five giant steps back from the curb.When lining up, make your line away from the street.Never walk behind the bus.If you have to cross the street, do so only at a crosswalk or intersection after the bus leaves.If you drop something near the bus, tell the driver before you pick it up. You want to make sure the bus driver knows where you are at all times.Parents should remind their children about the inherent risks associated with going to and coming home safely from school. Talk to your children about coming straight home when they get off the bus, so you will know they made it home safely.

Parents should make a conscious effort to be aware of the smaller children trying to make it to their destination. Parents who will be picking up and dropping off their children should watch for children darting out from between cars or behind bushes and shrubs.

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