Safe Youth, Safe Schools Safe Youth, Safe Schools
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This fall, approximately 55 million students return to classrooms across the United States. While our nation’s schools are expected to be safe havens for learning, unintentional injuries and even violence can occur. These events may disrupt the educational process and negatively affect the school and surrounding community.

Fresh haircuts, new clothes, and backpacks stuffed with markers, pencils, and binders; everything a child needs to start a new school year. As millions of students return to school this fall, teachers will plan their school supply list, and parents will carefully make sure their child is prepared with each and every item. Yet, one detail is sometimes forgotten. Safety should be on every student’s back-to-school list.

Whether it is by car, bus, bike, or walking, the minute a child leaves their home, safety becomes a concern. Children need to use seatbelts, look both ways before crossing a street, wear helmets when appropriate, take steps to form respectful relationships, and know how to avoid and reduce conflicts. Safety is also important at school, both in the classroom and during activities such as sports. When parents and educators work together, safety becomes a lifesaving priority that benefits the entire community.

Get to School Safely
• Walk to School Safely
Children face an increased risk for pedestrian injuries. You can help by learning more about these risks and steps you can take to promote pedestrian safety in your community.

• Child Passenger Safety
Motor vehicle injuries are the greatest public health problem facing children today. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. Learn how to keep children safe by using an age- and size-appropriate restraint system.

• Young Driver Safety
Two out of five deaths among US teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash. During a teen’s first year of driving, crash risk is particularly high. Learn tips and facts to help a new driver arrive at school safely.

• Teens Driver Safety: Graduated Driver Licensing
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems address the high risks new drivers face and are proven methods for helping teens to become safer drivers. Research shows that strict and comprehensive GDL systems reduce both fatal and non-fatal injury crashes.

School Safety
• Choose Respect
A national campaign sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Choose Respect provides information and support for communities seeking to foster a “Culture of Respect.” Focusing on adolescents between the ages of 11 and 14, Choose Respect provides educational information for the development of healthy relationships, skills for managing conflict, anger, and jealousy without violence.

• Youth Violence
Homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the United States. Behaviors such as bullying and hitting often start at a young age and may continue into young adulthood. Youth violence can often lead to serious injury or death.

• Sexual Violence
Sexual violence begins early in life. Research shows that 54% of rapes reported by women, and 75% of rapes reported by men, occur before the age of eighteen. Most victims do not tell friends and family about the abuse and suffer alone. Those who do disclose the violence may be stigmatized by friends, family, and their community.

• Youth Suicide
Suicide (taking one’s own life) is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. For youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4,500 lives lost each year.

• School Health Guidelines to Prevent Unintentional Injuries and Violence
School Health Guidelines are designed to prevent unintentional injuries and violence. Guidelines promote safety and teach students the skills needed to prevent injuries and violence. They are designed for all grade levels and provide support for a coordinated school health program.

• School Health Index (SHI)
SHI is a self-assessment and planning tool that enables schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs; develop an action plan for improving student health and safety; and involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school services.

Safety During Sports and Physical Activity
• Playground Injuries
Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Learn about risks, and how to avoid severe injuries associated with playgrounds.

• Keeping Children and Teens Safe from Concussion
Each year, as many as 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions are estimated to occur in the United States. The Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports tool kit includes information for coaches, parents, and athletes on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a suspected concussion.