Walking the extra 50 metres to use the school crossing is always worth the effort and demonstrates that safety is important, no matter what the situation. Picture: Stuart Milligan
Walking the extra 50 metres to use the school crossing is always worth the effort and demonstrates that safety is important, no matter what the situation. Picture: Stuart Milligan

Parents: Learning at school starts in the carpark

The start of the school year is an exciting time for many children, my own daughter included, who began Prep. She had her bag packed, books ready and for the past few weeks we’ve been struggling to get her to wear anything other than her uniform.

As a dad, I was trying to hold back the tears as I thought about waving her goodbye on her first day, while also finding the courage needed to tackle the school carpark.

I’ve heard the horror stories — frustrated parents, excited children and overzealous parking inspectors. There’s no doubt the school pick up and drop off can be stressful for everyone, but we need to make sure it’s done safely.

As an education officer of RACQ’s Streets Ahead Program I encourage parents to teach their kids to enter and exit the car using the “Safety Door”.

This is the back-passenger door, which is always closest to the footpath and keeps them far away from other cars, buses and anything else that might be found in a busy school environment.

Parents also need to lead by example.

Walking the extra 50 metres to use the school crossing is always worth the effort and demonstrates that safety is important, no matter what the situation.

May the safety lessons stick with your child long after the novelty of the school uniform has worn off and the first day of school be memorable for all the right reasons.