Safe Kids Alaska gives tips to ensure students arrive to school safely as days get darker

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - As days get shorter, Safe Kids Alaska wants parents to know the preventative measures to ensure their children arrive to school safely in the morning.

“Our main concern with students getting to and from school is visibility,” said Sara Penisten Turcic with Safe Kids Alaska. ”Especially in our darker, winter conditions that are coming on quickly for us.”

Penisten Turcic stresses the importance of making sure children are seen while they walk to school. She recommends making sure kids walk to and from their destinations wearing reflective material.

“Many manufacturers, especially outerwear, are starting to incorporate reflective wear into their clothing,” she said. “A lot of backpack manufacturers are doing the same thing.”

Safe Kids Alaska recommends giving children reflective vests to wear to school. Reflective tape, zipper pulls and light-up clips are also a good option.

Penisten Turcic said that children should have reflective material on all sides of them to give them the best chances of being seen.

Another way to make sure children are safe is talking to them about the rules of the road.

“Pedestrian safety education starts at home, with parents modeling that safe behavior,” Penisten Turcic said. “We want students to use those sidewalks, we want students to use those crosswalks.”

Drivers play an important role in pedestrian safety. The Anchorage School District wants to remind drivers to keep their phones down and slow down. They encourage drivers to familiarize themselves with school zones and to make sure to stop when school buses have their stop signs up.

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