How Parents Can Make School Drop-offs a Breeze

(NC) Smooth drop-offs start with stress-free mornings. Learn how to achieve both this school year with these practical tips.

Try DIY breakfast. Reduce time in the morning by simplifying breakfast. Set out some plates and cereal, chopped fruit, bread, cheese and yogurt to let the kids serve themselves, or keep these items on lower shelves in the fridge so little ones can access everything they need.

Start a launch pad. Organizing experts say having a designated spot in your entryway for things like the kids' lunch boxes, backpacks, textbooks, permission slips and coats is a great way to keep things tidy and to make sure no one forgets anything. The launch pad can be a basket, bench or other container, and it helps if each child has their own.

Plan your route. School zones are becoming more dangerous. According to a recent CAA survey, the top two hazardous driving behaviours that motorists perform in a school zone are speeding and distracted driving. For a smoother morning, try parking a couple of blocks away and walking the rest of the way with your children. You and your kids will also get an extra dose of exercise. Help reduce traffic by finding alternative ways to school. Plan a safe route to walk or bike.

Follow the rules while behind the wheel. Slowing down and giving yourself more time is the best way to keep school zones safe when dropping off your child.  Avoid texting and other activities that can distract you while driving. Check with your child's school administrator regarding designated drop off and pickup areas.  Follow the signs posted in school zones, including speed limits.  Watch for CAA School Safety Patrollers, one of the largest youth volunteer programs in Canada.  They help their peers get to school safely in many parts of the country.

Find more information online at caa.ca/schoolzonesafety.