Returning back to school in a pandemic has brought challenges for teachers, pupils and parents alike. Schools are now considerably different, with one-way systems, separated desks and altered start times.
As most students have not been inside a school building since March, a conversation regarding the importance of safety when travelling to and from school is now more important than ever. Discussing the commute to school will help raise your child’s awareness of potential risks and keep them safe.
Walking to School
If your child is walking to school, make sure you take the time to remind them of the following safety tips:
- To look left, right and then left again before crossing the street. Remind your child to continue to look left and right until they are safely on the other side.
- To walk on the pavement and if there is no pavement, to make sure they walk on the edge of the road facing the incoming traffic.
- To use traffic lights and zebra crossings if available.
- To use headphones and devices responsibly. To not to be distracted by music, texting or the internet while crossing the road.
- To never run out into the road.
Taking the Bus
Taking the bus to school is usually the safest way for your child to commute. There are however dangers when a child attempts to get on the bus and leave the bus. To reduce the risk of an accident, you should teach your child the following simple tips:
- Stand five steps away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive.
- Always wait for the driver to tell you to board the bus prior to doing so.
- When leaving the bus, make sure to look left and right.
- Make sure to never walk behind the bus.
Does my child need to wear a mask to and from school?
The issue of face masks in secondary schools differ depending on where you live. Some secondary school pupils, in local lockdown areas, will have to wear a mask when walking through school corridors and communal areas. However, all students will have to wear a face mask when using public transport.
If your child is walking to school on their own or with someone from their household then a mask would not be considered necessary so long as he/she is able to keep a safe distance from others.
If your child will be walking to school in a large group or with other children who are not members of your household, it is recommended for your child to wear a mask. The mask will help prevent germs from easily spreading.
It is however entirely your child’s decision whether they wear a mask outside while commuting to school. It is advisable to speak with your child’s school to be clear on their procedures and for further guidance.