Kids’ Safety in School Buses: 5 Tips Every Parent and Teacher Should Teach A Child

If you’re a parent, your child’s safety is your top priority. So, when you prepare for your children to ride the school bus, you want to know they will be safe and sound.

Throughout the school year, approximately 23.5 million children ride a bus to and from school every single day. This makes the school bus system one of the largest public transit systems in the country. 

While experts have concluded that riding the school bus is the safest way for children to get to school, this doesn’t mean that the bus is completely risk-free. Here are 5 safety tips to teach kids, to ensure they stay safe when riding the bus.

  1. Being Careful When Around The Bus

According to a CIPP report, 24% of bus-related injuries occur when passengers are either getting on or off the bus. The zone 10-feet in front and 10-feet behind the bus is known as the “danger zone” and the vast majority of school bus deaths or injuries occur in this zone.

To keep children safe, parents and teachers in the vicinity should always pay close attention to children entering or exiting the bus. You can help children steer clear of this ‘danger zone’, by stressing the importance of remaining 10 feet away from the bus and to never, for any reason, walk behind this vehicle. Before crossing, ask your kids to take five steps in front of the bus to ensure that the driver will see your children passing. Safer still, wait until the bus has departed.

  1. Encourage Children To Follow Direction

Bus drivers obtain school bus endorsements so they are equipped with proper training to ensure the safety of your child. As it’s a bus driver’s job to safely transport their passengers, it’s crucial that passengers don’t disrupt or disturb their driver when they’re operating the vehicle. While riding the bus may offer kids a small dose of independence, it’s also important to encourage children to be respectful and listen carefully to any instructions they are given. 

Bus drivers are trained to follow strict safety practices, which is why it’s so important for children to do as they say and cause minimal distractions. As a parent, it is vital that you teach children to politely follow the direction to ensure a safe and pleasant journey home or to school.

  1. Don’t Go Back For Something You Left Behind

When you leave something behind, it’s natural instinct to rush back and get it. But, in the case of leaving items on the bus, this knee-jerk reaction could be a potentially dangerous move. As the bus follows many routes, the bus driver may be too concerned with their next destination or maneuver to see a child racing towards the bus, especially when they are not expecting any new passengers.

To avoid this scenario, teach your children that if they leave something behind, it can be returned or retrieved at a later time.

  1. Don’t Run Across The Road

When kids get excited, they can easily forget where they are. If they see their friends playing or maybe just want to take a short-cut home, your kids may be tempted to run across the road. Even if the bus is stationary, children should not run in-front of the vehicle. If the bus driver was planning to suddenly take off, they might be unable to react fast-enough when they see the child. What’s more, traffic passing the far side of the bus can pose potential hazards too.

It’s essential to teach children the proper protocol when crossing the road. That is, if there is no designated crosswalk then children should carefully look both ways before stepping onto the road. Not only this, before crossing in front of a bus, it’s incredibly important that children learn to ensure that the bus driver can see them and perhaps lookout for a clear signal—such as a hand wave or gesture—that will suggest that it’s okay to cross. Reminding them to look beyond the bus before stepping out further onto the road is also essential.

  1. Carefully Entering and Exiting

School buses install handrails and steps for safety purposes and not as playground equipment. If you’re a teacher on bus duty, it might be wise to monitor how kids are entering or exiting the bus.  To avoid any accidents when climbing the stairs, insist that the children hold onto the rails. As a parent, you can also monitor this from your end too.

Also, remind children to be mindful of their backpacks or any loose clothing when entering or exiting the bus. Items like bag buckles or shoelaces can be easily caught in railings or the bus’ door, so it’s extremely important for kids to pay attention to prevent any mishaps or injuries. 

 

There are a lot of other valuable resources that provide school bus safety tips. With these tips in mind, you will be at knowing that your children will make safe and smart decisions when traveling to and from school. 

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