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What is Your School Safety IQ?

September 8th, 2011 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    0   comments

“It’s the happiest time of the year…” Here’s a back-to-school safety quiz for parents:

1. What is a "code red" at school?

2. Does an 8-year-old require a booster seat on field trips?

3. If your child’s school has no food restrictions, is it OK for kids to share lunches and snacks?

4. When is the 30 kph school zone speed limit in effect?

5. Your child is walking to school without you for the first time. Should she A) keep in touch with you via cell phone, B) walk with friends or C) both?

6. Is it illegal to make a U-turn in a school zone?


1. While emergency response procedures may vary among districts and schools, a “code red” typically refers to a complete lockdown, inside and out. Students must go to the nearest classroom, lock the doors and windows, shut the blinds and turn off the lights. Last year, a Vancouver high school issued a code red when an armed suspect was seen running into the school. Coyote sightings on or near school property have triggered “code yellows,” where outside doors were locked. In some schools, a “code purple” means a teacher is incapacitated and students must inform the school administration.

2. It depends. Children over 40 lbs., less than 9 years old and under 4’9” tall must use booster seats in cars and vans, but not in traditional school buses. Children under 40 lbs. must be secured in a proper car seat with a five-point harness.

3. Because more and more children suffer from life-threatening allergies to foods such as nuts, peanuts, eggs, dairy, fish and shellfish, it is wise to avoid sharing food. Common items such as bread, baked goods, chocolate and ice-cream often contain traces of nuts.

4. 8 a.m. to 5p.m., week days, while school is in session.

5. B. Kids talking or texting on cell phones, listening to music or playing with other electronic devices are too distracted to walk or cycle safely to school. Their parents should likewise avoid such distractions while driving. It is safest to walk with friends to school and avoid wooded or isolated areas.

6. In B.C., U-turns are legal, except in controlled intersections, within 150 metres of the crest of a hill, in a business district, where unsafe, or where prohibited. However, individual municipalities, such as Vancouver, have their own by-laws restricting U-turns and three-point-turns. The bottom line is, don’t do it. Traffic congestion and speeding pose a great enough hazard to students headed for school, without drivers turning around and backing up in intersections. Children, meanwhile, need to keep an eye out for cars backing up, especially in intersections and parking lots.

Author: Susanna Chu

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