(WTRF) – Pencils, notebooks, and backpacks are some of the main concerns when we think of going back to school, but the safety of students takes top priority. 

Staying safe at school begins before the students even step foot into the classroom, and the American Red Cross has steps that everyone should take to familiarize and keep students safe this school year.  

Especially for young ones, it is important that students are familiar and comfortable with taking the bus and making sure that they are standing away from the curb and staying in clear view of the bus driver while waiting. 

Car safety on the commute to school is crucial. Everyone should be wearing a seatbelt and the driver should be cautiously adhering to the rules of the road. 

Cell phones have become a distraction not only for drivers, but a risk for those walking, as well. It may sound obvious, but texting and walking, especially while crossing the street, should be avoided. 

These are just a few safety tips, but Sharon Kesselring from the American Red Cross has another tip for concerned parents. 

American Red Cross’ mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and one way you can do that is to prevent, what we might call an ‘obvious emergency.’ There are some unavoidable emergencies that you just can’t stop from happening. One thing that a parent can do to make sure that they are keeping their student safe as possible, is to check with the school to see what the emergency plan is that that school has.

Sharon Kesselring, Executive Director, American Red Cross Ohio River Valley Chapter 

Sharon also suggests coming up with your own family emergency plans with your student by having them memorize phone numbers and addresses, as well as where to go in the event something should happen during the school day.