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Back to school road safety 02.09.22

BACK to school road safety: It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure vulnerable road users are always safe on our roads.

As schoolchildren return to school, the Donegal Road Safety Working Group is asking parents, guardians and teachers to make road safety a priority in their back to school preparations.

The return to school days brings more traffic in the morning and afternoon. School buses are picking up children, children walking and on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, parents are trying to drop their children off before they go to work.
It is important that motorists slow down and pay attention when children are on the road, especially before and after school. Motorists are being reminded that there will be a significant increase in school going traffic in the coming days. They should also expect to see a rise in the number of children using the roads to get to school.

Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer said: "Each one of us must play our part to help make the roads safe and look out for everyone who uses them. By exercising extra care and caution, we can make the roads safer for everyone”.

• Know the speed limit. 
• Put down the mobile phone.
• Watch for pedestrians.
• Drive slowly past parked cars.
• Never overtake a school bus that is dropping off or picking up children.

Parents are busy getting the usual school bits and pieces organised – uniforms, books and lunch boxes. Safefood have put together some top tips for making healthy lunches.

Lunches provide around one third of our child’s daily nutritional needs, so it’s important to put some planning into them.
Here are our top 5 tips to consider when making their lunch this school year.

• School lunches can become repetitive. So, try to include a wide variety of foods from every food group - fruit and vegetables, starchy foods, protein and dairy.

• Use the same lunch time staples in different ways. For example, instead of sandwiches every day, try varying the type of bread by using pittas, bagels or wraps. Keep a stock in the freezer to avoid food waste. Or if your child enjoys rice or pasta include that instead of bread. You can do this by cooking a little extra in the evening. These can make tasty fillers.

• It’s important to keep kids hydrated throughout the day – up to 6 cups of fluid should be encouraged daily. Milk and plain water are the best options for drinks. We understand it can be difficult getting your child to drink water. Brightly coloured bottles and can make plain water more interesting!

• Get your child involved in choosing and making their lunches. This is a perfect opportunity for them to learn about healthy eating and pick up good habits. And if your child is starting school this year, get them to practice opening and closing their lunchbox – honestly their teacher will be grateful!

• Often when introducing new food to children, they will need to see and taste it several times before they accept it as part of their regular diet. So, why not try out new ideas at dinner time or at the weekends before including them in the lunchbox.
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