• 9/19/2017
    Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Trauma Center, through its Hamad Injury Prevention Program, is urging road users to take extra precautions as the start of the school year due to more traffic on the roads.

    The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation-related injuries. The Hamad Injury Prevention Program encourages all families and residents to be more cautious and is offering the following road safety recommendations:
    • Do your homework. Knowing traffic routes and patterns will reduce the risk of delay and the need to rush to meet school start times.
    • Be a good role model. Always buckle up, wear a helmet when biking, and follow pedestrian road safety rules.
    • Ensure safety seats are of the proper specification. All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
    • Supervise young children. Children, especially those under 10 years of age, should be supervised as they walk or bike to school, or as they wait at the school bus stop.
    • Obey traffic rules. Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.

    According to Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of the Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP), the community outreach arm of HMC’s Trauma Surgery Section, the safest school trips are those that are well planned.

    “We caution parents to be realistic about their child's pedestrian skills. Children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic. It is recommended that only children older than 10 years of age walk or bike to school without adult supervision. If children are walking or biking to school, it’s also a good idea to provide bright-colored clothing so motorists can easily see them,” said Dr. Consunji.

    Dr. Consunji says the beginning of the school year is an opportune time for families to turn their attention to safety, be it developing home safety plans in case of emergency or reviewing school bus safety tips.

    “All children must be properly restrained in the rear seat. They must be in a car seat that is appropriate for their age and size and properly restrained, including when traveling on a school bus (if available),” said Dr. Consunji. “If your child travels by bus, it is important to review school bus safety tips such as waiting for the bus to stop before approaching the curb, only boarding and exiting at designated locations and remaining seated while the bus is in motion.”

    Motorists are also asked to be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit (usually 30kph), especially during drop-off and pick-up times. Extra care is also needed when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage.