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New Year, Back to School Safety

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It's a new year and it's back to school time! Keep children safe. While our nation's schools are expected to be and usually are safe havens for learning, unintentional injuries and even violence can occur, disrupting the educational process and negatively affecting the school and surrounding community. Fresh haircuts, new clothes, and backpacks stuffed with markers, pencils, and binders—everything a child needs to start a new school year. As millions of students return to school this fall, teachers will plan their school supply list, and parents will carefully make sure their child is prepared with each and every item. However, safety should also be on every teacher's and student's back-to-school list. Parents, students, educators, and community members can all take action to keep children safe—in and away from school.

Get to School Safely

  • Walk to School Safely Children face an increased risk for pedestrian injuries. You can help by learning more about these risks and steps you can take to promote pedestrian safety in your community.
  • Child Passenger Safety Motor vehicle injuries are the greatest public health problem facing children today. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. Learn how to keep children safe by using an age- and size-appropriate restraint system.
  • Teen Driver Safety One out of three deaths among US teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash. During a teen's first year of driving, crash risk is particularly high. Learn tips and facts to help a new driver arrive at school safely.
  • Teens Behind the Wheel: Graduated Driver Licensing Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems address the high risks new drivers face and are proven methods for helping teens to become safer drivers. Research shows that strict and comprehensive GDL systems reduce both fatal and nonfatal injury crashes.
A teacher with her students

School Safety

  • Youth Violence Homicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the United States. Behaviors such as bullying and hitting often start at a young age and may continue into young adulthood. Youth violence can often lead to serious injury or death.
  • School Violence While US schools remain relatively safe, any amount of violence is unacceptable. Parents, teachers, and administrators expect schools to be safe havens of learning. Acts of violence can disrupt the learning process and have a negative effect on students, the school itself, and the broader community.
  • Sexual Violence Sexual violence begins early in life. Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half ex­perienced the first rape before age 18. Most victims do not tell friends and family about the abuse and suffer alone. Those who do disclose the violence may be stigmatized by friends, family, and their community.
  • Youth Suicide Suicide (taking one's own life) is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. It is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24. Suicide results in approximately 5,100 lives lost each year.
  • School Health Guidelines to Prevent Unintentional Injuries and Violence School Health Guidelines are designed to prevent unintentional injuries and violence. Guidelines promote safety and teach students the skills needed to prevent injuries and violence. They are designed for all grade levels and provide support for a coordinated school health program.
  • School Health Index School Health Index (SHI) is a self-assessment and planning tool that enables schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs, develop an action plan for improving student health and safety, and involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school services.

Safety During Sports and Physical Activity

  • Playground Injuries Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Learn about risks and how to avoid severe injuries associated with playgrounds.
  • Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs A child can take a spill, knock his/her head, and get a concussion in any number of school settings ranging from the hallway, the playground, the cafeteria, and beyond. This flexible set of materials was developed for professionals working with grades K-12 and helps principals, school nurses, teachers, or other school professionals identify and respond to concussions and learn strategies to help support students returning to school after a concussion.

Students in a classroom

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