Whether you’re ready for it or not, school is back in the Grand Valley. It’s easy to forget where the school zones are, and the times of day the school zones are active. It’s our responsibility as Grand Junction residents to protect the children of Grand Junction, and to do our best to keep them safe. Here are some tips to make sure everyone stays safe as school comes back in session in Grand Junction.

Remember To Share The Road

The roads, and especially the school zones, will be teeming with school busses, students walking, students on bikes and scooters, and new teen drivers. Remember to respect the speed limits within the school zones, and remain vigilant. Don’t be texting and driving, or looking for Pokemon.

Practice Backpack Safety

Backpacks that are too heavy, or positioned wrong on your child’s back, can cause enormous problems. Try picking up their backpack when they drop it in the middle of the walkway in front of your front door. If the backpack feels like it’s more than 40 lbs, it’s time to take some things out. Look for backpacks with an ergonomic design (not just the newest star wars characters), shoulder pads, proper weight displacement. If you find a backpack with reflective material, bonus, because it helps keep them safe when it gets darker outside.

Encourage Playground Safety

Nearly 80% of playground injuries are fall related. The falling surfaces (flooring) of the playground should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires or rubber mats. These help to keep you child safe in the case that they fall off any equipment. Tell you child (or you go look) for any loose bolts, nuts, corners, etc that could potential impale or scratch them. Tell your child to look for tripping hazards, and make sure they know not to play in overcrowded equipment areas.

Darn Phones

Encourage your child to pay attention whenever they are walking. The saying is “heads up, phones down”. Make sure the know not to be on their phone when crossing the street or walkways, and when walking through the halls.

Back to school should be fun! In Grand Junction we’ve been lucky enough to have very few back to school related injuries, but we can always improve!