As many students head back to school this week, law enforcement agencies are asking drivers to use extra caution.
Lt. William Weirtz with the Canton Post of the State Highway Patrol says he often hears complaints from bus drivers about drivers passing stopped school buses during school hours.
"That's not because they weren't aware of (the school bus). They are either in a hurry or they just, for some reason, decided to pass the bus," Weirtz said.
Weirtz says teen and adult drivers talking on the phone or texting is a major problem during the school year.
"That cell phone or text provides a hug distraction and we see a lot of that, unfortunately in the crashes we handle."
OSHP: Drivers Pay Attention, School Is Back In Session by Amani Abraham
He advises drivers to stay focused behind the wheel and resist the urge to text and drive.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol advises motorists to plan ahead and add a few minutes to their morning commute to make time for school bus stops.
Drivers should also watch out for children walking to and from the bus stop, especially when they are backing out of a driveway.
From 2009 through 2011, more than 4,300 Ohio motorists were cited for failing to stop for a school bus loading or unloading children.
Kids are headed back to school which means it may be time to give the packed lunches a little makeover.
Akron Children's Hospital Dietitian Kendall Smith says that being creative and getting kids in the kitchen can lead to healthy lunches.
"One thing we always talk about is getting them involved, pulling them in the kitchen, asking them what they want and letting take part in packing their lunch," says Smith.
Smith says that research shows that kids who are involved in packing their own lunch will be more likely to eat what's inside.
If kids are not the veggie lovers you would hope for, Smith says there is a way to get them to eat healthy.
"You can do something like fruit and veggie or veggie and cheese skewers. You can also attach fun little notes in the lunch, make it more colorful. So, it's really the same food but you are disguising it and just making it more appealing to kids," says Smith.
Smith says that school lunches should be nutritious, colorful and fun and recommends taking precaution when packing perishable items.
Washing your hands before preparing foods and keeping perishable foods at the correct temperature will help foods stay fresh.
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