BackSchool Bus Safety Tips

Post : Back-to-School Bus Safety Tips URL : Posted : September 17, 2015 at 9:00 pm Author : admin Tags : back to school, Back-to-School Bus Safety Tips, BTS, Bus Safety Tips, school bus safety tips for kids Categories : Family Life As we were sitting the ridiculously long drop off line this morning, my daughter announced that she wants to start taking the bus to school.  Honestly, I don’t blame her.  At the time she said it, we were watching buses cruise right up and drop kids at the front gate, while we were stopped in the car line.  It felt like we hadn’t moved in ages, yet the buses were moving right along.  For a moment, I thought she was too little to ride a bus, but the fact is, more and more of my friends are putting their kids on school bus this year.  They rave about the convenience and how much their kids love it.  Since I have so many friends putting their kids on buses this back-to-school season, I think this is the perfect time to share some back-to-school bus safety tips. Safety in Numbers Kids are no doubt safer in groups, so try to make sure that your kids walk to the bus stop with you (if they’re younger) or with a group of friends.  If your child is the only one at the bus stop, check to see what the next closest stop is.  Often bus stops are just a few blocks apart, and there may be a larger group at that stop.  Consider driving your child to the bus stop or having them walk a little extra to be in a group, rather than be by themselves while waiting for the bus. Situation Awareness Before leaving them at the bus stop or allowing them to walk on their own, make sure your child has a firm understanding of exactly where they’re expected to stand to be out of the way of vehicles.  All too often, I see kids teetering on the edge of a curb or sitting on the sidewalk just feet from where cars are whizzing by.  Teach your children to stay visible, but far enough out of the way to stay safe.  Make sure the bus stop has proper lighting and that the area is free of harmful items, such as broken glass.  If you feel that the bus stop is inappropriate for any reason, call your school district to file a complaint. Supply your child with a flashlight to keep in their backpack for times when they are waiting for the bus in the gloom of winter or on particularly foggy days.  Also explain the importance of staying aware of suspicious adults who seem to be at the bus stop for no apparent reason. If any issues come up during the year, go with your child to the bus stop and see for yourself. Be in the Loop The only way to know if your child is following the rules is to see for yourself.  If you aren’t walking your child to the bus stop or staying there with them, make unannounced visits to your child’s bus stop.  Make sure you know the full name of your child’s bus driver and be sure to introduce yourself.  If at all possible, find out the route the bus takes after it picks up your child, so you always know where they are should there be an emergency. Reflective Outerwear When purchasing your child’s coat or backpack, keep in mind that bright colors make them more visible to drivers while they wait at bus stops or cross streets. If your child’s backpack doesn’t already have reflective tape, it’s a good idea to apply your own (you can find easy iron-on reflective tape in sporting good stores or on Amazon ( ) ). Also, explain to your child that wearing reflective clothing doesn’t guarantee that drivers will see them so it is important for them to stand where it’s safe, off the road and on the sidewalk, well away from vehicles. Be Weather Appropriate Bus stops can get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.  It’s a good idea to make sure that your child is prepared for the extremes, rather than simply putting on what they want to wear for the day at school.  Make sure your child has a hat, coat, and gloves for the winter months, and carries a sweater/sweatshirt with them in their back pack if they tend to get cold in school during the spring and summer months. Bus Safety Rules Because most school buses are not required to have seat belts, it’s a good idea to talk to your child about remaining in their seat and facing forward. Explain the importance of remaining in their seat until the bus is fully stopped and not changing seats while the bus is moving.  Your child should also know where the emergency exits are on a bus. Depending on the bus driver, these rules will be outlined and enforced, but it is best not to assume your child knows the rules. Bus Exiting Rules Have you ever seen kids stampeding off the bus, even if their destination is the classroom?  Pushing and shoving can result in injuries. Tell your child to be patient; if that means exiting the bus last to avoid the pushing and shoving matches, then that’s okay.  Once off the bus, tell your child to pay attention to the bus driver’s or crossing guard’s signal that it is safe to cross the street. Clarify that they should immediately go inside the school and that they should not stand around or play around the bus. Just like drivers, kids can be easily distracted as they go to and from school.  It’s a smart idea to reiterate these safety rules and behaviors occasionally to remind your child of their importance.  We have a long school year in front of us…Let’s make it a safe one! Add a comment to this post:

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