School Bus Safety Tips

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Posted on: September 3rd, 2017by Casey Anderson

It’s the time of year again where many kids are going back to school. For some that means a boarding school, away from their home. For some it means at home schooling. And, for a lot of the kids I know, it means back to public school, and the school bus transportation you take to get there.

For kids who are going to school, or at least riding the bus, for the first time, this can be very scary. For their parents it’s usually even scarier. There are of course all the fears and apprehensions of your baby starting school, going out into the big, bad world without you. Yikes, right?

That’s a whole other blog though, and I don’t want to take up too much of your time. What I’m thinking most about today revolves around what in the USA is the big yellow school bus. I imagine other countries have a school transportation as well that the same general rules and tips could apply.

Before the First Bus Ride

You should be preparing your child for their first ride to school long before it actually occurs. Many kids are going to school for the first time at ages five and six. The world can be overwhelming and repetition is often something that helps them stay focused.

Practice catching the bus with your child. Take them to the place where their bus stop will be, show them where they should stand. You don’t want your child waiting in the middle of the road.

Check to see if any other kids will be catching the bus at the same location. If there are kids you know talk to the parents, have your child talk to the other one. It always helps to have a buddy you feel comfortable with. If there are other kids but you and your child do not know them, take that as an opportunity to meet some new people in your neighborhood! See if you can get together with them before the school year starts.

Figure out the bus drivers name, the bus number, their teachers name and the location of their bus stop. Now, go over that with your child everyday leading up to school. Get them to memorize those key facts that will help them get to, and home from, school safely.

This next one my seem strange, but make sure your child knows their first and last name. A surprising amount of kids that ride the bus for the first time either don’t, or get nervous and can’t manage to say it. They need to know it so well that even when nervous they can say it out loud. It’s also a good idea to have their name written inside their book bag. If a school bus driver needs to know who a child is and the child is unable to tell them, they will look into their book bag for something with their name.

Some other things, good for bus and just general knowledge. Make sure your child knows not to rush towards the bus when it pulls up. They should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the door opens. They should also not push or shove other kids to get on first, it’s not a race. Remind your child to look both ways before crossing the street or in front of the bus. They may already know this lesson, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to remind them.

On the First (and Every) Bus Ride

Your child should see the bus driver as an authority that they should listen to. They should understand that the driver is there to keep them safe and get them safely to school. Any rules or instructions given to them should be followed. Here are a few of the basic ones for most buses:

  1. Face forward; keep sitting on the sit with feet on the floor.
  2. Keep your arms inside the bus at all times.
  3. Keep your hands to yourself.
  4. Keep noise level to a minimum. Everyone knows kids will talk, but no yelling, screaming etc.
  5. No food is to be eaten on the bus.
  6. Do not leave any trash behind when exiting the bus.
  7. If there is a problem do not hesitate to talk to the driver.

It is imperative that the driver is able to focus on the road and not have to worry about children being rowdy or disrespectful. You want to make sure your child understands that so they can all get to school and home safely.

Coming Home on the Bus

Make sure your child knows their bus number, where to catch their bus at the school, and what stop they are to get off on. This can often be the most important stuff. There are few things more terrifying than waiting for your child to get off the bus and they are not there.

Schools and drivers have many things in place to prevent this, but you want your child to be as prepared as possible. This is not how you want to end their first day in school! So make sure your child is prepared every step of the way!

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