School has been back in session for a while and your family is settling into their daily routines. Sometimes complacency comes with having a routine because we start doing things as if on automatic pilot. One area where we can’t get complacent is in the safety of our children. That extends to the school bus as well. In honor of this week’s National School Bus Safety Week (running October 19th – 23rd), here are a few of my personal school bus safety tips to practice throughout the year.
Tip 1 – Walk Your Children to the Bus Stop
Walk your children to and from the bus stop whenever possible and wait with them until the bus arrives. Being the one to walk your child to and from the bus stop, along with monitoring them while there, will help your child to feel safer. Your mind will be more at peace, too!
Tip 2 – Wait for the Bus in a Safe Place
Teach your child that they should stand a small distance away from the curb. This will help them to avoid accidentally stepping into the street or being in possible harm’s way when the bus arrives.
Tip 3 – Boarding and Exiting a Bus
Children should use the handrails when boarding or exiting a bus. Remind them to look around to make sure they aren’t dragging a sweater, have loose backpack straps, or anything else that can get caught in the school bus door. Remind your child that they should tell the driver if they drop something in the aisle or on the steps of the bus. The driver will need to be able to make sure your child has safely entered or exited the bus before driving.
Tip 4 – Crossing the Street
After getting off of the bus, your child may need to cross the street. Teach them to cross in front of the bus, where the driver can see them. When crossing the street, they should take a few big steps in front of the bus, stop to make eye contact with the driver, and wait for the driver to let them know that it’s okay to cross. Your child should still look left and right to make sure it’s clear to cross.
Tip 5 – Use Child Restraints When Needed
Due to injury or other needs, your child may need to use a restraint. Speak with a doctor to determine if a child restraint is needed and what type. If your child is wearing a leg cast, discuss with your physician the best way for your child to enter and exit the school bus safely. The goal is to prevent further injury.
Throughout the year, please remind your kids about these tips, and practice with them. Children can be quite forgetful, so practice sessions are great reminders to instill these best practices in them.
With these school bus safety tips, I hope that the rest of the school year is a safe one!
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