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Fact Sheet

Back-to-School Safety
Help kids get a gold star in safety with these tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.

School Bus Safety
  • Walk with kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives.
  • Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches.
  • Teach kids to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off.
  • To cross the street after getting off the bus, kids should take five giant steps in front of the bus (never walk in back of the bus), look both ways and and make eye contact with the bus driver before stepping into the road. See more tips for a safe bus ride
Carpooling/Riding to School
  • Always buckle up and use child safety seats correctly every time you ride. Need age-specific child passenger safety help? Visit
  • Never carry more passengers than there are safety belts in the vehicle.
  • The back seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride.
  • Check with the school about designated drop-off areas; make sure kids enter and leave the car on the curb side.
Walking to School
  • Choose the safest route and walk it with kids.
  • Have kids walk facing traffic, on sidewalks or paths. Walk as far to the left as possible if there are no sidewalks.
  • Make sure kids look both ways before crossing the street, and cross at designated crosswalks or at corners.
  • Dont allow a child (typically under age 10) to cross streets alone. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
  • Distraction among drivers is at an all-time high today, so remind kids to make eye contact with the driver in a stopped vehicle before stepping into the road.
  • Remind kids to put down the phone and turn off volume in headphones when crossing the street. Visit for more safe walking tips.
Biking to School
  • Make sure children have the right size helmet and wear it every time when riding. Take the helmet fit test
  • Select a safe route and bike it with kids.
  • Kids should ride on sidewalks (being alert for vehicles going in and out of driveways) or bike paths until around age 10.
  • Kids should be able to show they know how to follow the rules of the road before cycling with traffic.
  • Remind kids to stay alert to traffic and stop before crossing the street, entering a road or turning. See more safe biking tips at
For Drivers
  • Follow the speed limit and slow down in school zones and near bus stops.
  • Be alert to kids walking to or from school or the school bus.
  • Slow down and stop if you're driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red) and children are getting on or off.
  • Visit for more back-to-school tips for drivers.

Safe Kids Worldwide

Contact the South Dakota Safety Council at
or phone 605-361-7785 or 1-800-952-5539.