As the new school year begins, there are some key lessons that children should learn before even beginning their first class. Parents are an integral part of a total safety program for children who travel by school bus. If your children ride the bus, here are some things you can do to help keep them safe.
- Have your children put everything they carry into a backpack or school bag so that they won’t drop things along the way.
- Attach a piece of high visibility fluorescent or reflective material to their clothing or backpack.
- Make sure they leave home on time so that they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus is due. Running can be dangerous.
- Go to the bus stop with a young child and have older children walk in groups. There’s safety in numbers because groups are easier for drivers to see.
- If your child must walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as possible.
- Don’t let your child play running games or push or shove at the bus stop.
- Make sure your child stands at least 6 feet (3 giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus.
- If children must cross the street to the bus, remind them to wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
- Tell your child if they drop something near the bus they should never pick it up, instead, they should tell the bus driver and follow the driver’s directions. Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus, other drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by buses on the right.
- Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
Remind your children that to be good bus riders, they should:
- Talk quietly.
- Be courteous to the bus driver and follow the driver’s directions.
- Keep the aisles clear.
- Stay seated for the entire bus ride.