Part Two: Top Five Tips for “Bus Riders”
Big yellow busses, with their trademark black lettering on the sides, have been on the roads, shuttling children back and forth from school, for decades. Still today, school busses are a very popular mode of transportation employed by public and private school systems across the United States. They are an affordable, convenient solution for families that also cuts down on both school drop-off traffic and the amount of exhaust emissions from personal vehicles.
So, for part two of our Back-to-School Safety Series, we’re giving you the top five tips for keeping your children safe while riding on the school bus.
1. Help your child get to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare before the designated pick-up time. Avoiding a rushed atmosphere will help prevent distraction and ensure that your child has time to be aware of their surroundings.
2. Encourage your child to always practice bus stop safety. Discourage horseplay at the bus stop and remind your child to stay a safe distance away from the road while they are waiting. Cell phones and mobile devices can be very distracting, so make sure if your child has one that there are guidelines for when and how they can use them.
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3. Teach your child to wait until the bus has fully stopped before getting on or off. A good rule of thumb is to remind your child to stay ten giant steps away from the bus until it has completely stopped moving. Ensure your child understands that oftentimes when they are near the side, the wheels, or the very front of the bus, the driver cannot see them. Teach them to avoid lingering in bus driver blind spots.
4. Instill in your child basic bus safety rules and bus etiquette. Instruct them to never stick anything out the window, to stay in their seat at all times, and to never throw things or yell. Stress the importance of obeying all instructions from adults and of not doing anything that might distract the driver.
5. If your child must cross the street at any point to get on or off the bus, remind them to look both ways several times. If they are prone to wearing a hood or headphones, teach them to remove any obstacles to their awareness while boarding or exiting the bus, and especially while crossing the street.
Bonus Tip: check your child’s clothing, shoes, and backpacks for any long, dangling parts. Key chains, straps, drawstrings, shoelaces, and more can easily get caught in bus door while entering or exiting.
Look for part three of our Back-to-School Safety series in the upcoming weeks for more helpful tips to keep you and your children safe during the back-to-school season and throughout the school year.