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Back to School Safety: How Will Your Child Get to School This Year?

As summer draws to a close, it’s time to plan for the new school year. Shopping for new school supplies and back to school clothes is exciting, but there’s another important decision you and your child will make together this fall; how he or she will get to and from school.

August is Back to School Safety Month, and MOParent is here with practical safety tips for you and your family. In this three-part post we’ll talk about the safety pros and cons of the four most popular methods of school transportation; walking, bike riding, car transportation, and the school bus.

The Bureau of Justice Statics has published rates of violent crimes among 12-19 year olds since 1973. From that time through 2003, the rate of violent crime against 12-19 year olds fell from 80 cases per 1,000 children to 50 cases per 1,000 children.
–Source: The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Safety Statistics and School Commutes
Many parents shy altogether away from walking and biking for fear of their child being approached by strangers, bullied, or injured at a traffic crossing. In fact, “fear of crime against children” ranks as one of the top reasons many parents won’t allow their children to walk or bike to school.

Thankfully, kids might be safer walking to school than we think. Kidnappings are incredibly rare, and only a very small percentage of all of them happen within the vicinity of schools. Another piece of good news is that violence against teenagers has actually fallen since the 1970s:

Only you and your family know what’s best for your child’s school commute, but we’ll share ideas, tools and advice over the next two days that may help you feel even more secure about your child’s school commute.

Come back tomorrow for tips on walking or biking safely to school. In two days we’ll talk about transportation by bus and by car.

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