If your child rides the bus, there are still ways you can help keep them safe during their time away from you. From the bus stop waiting period to boarding, talk to them about bus safety rules – it could save their lives.
Bus Stop Safety
Always walk with your kids or drive them to where the bus picks them up. Aside from the actual bus stop, there are many dangers along the way. For younger children, you should always stay with them until the bus arrives.
It’s a bad habit to let them sit in the car with you until the bus arrives. This is a valuable time you can take to teach them what to do when the day comes you will not sit there with them the entire time.
Always make them take at least three giant steps back from the curb and never closer to the street than that. As the bus approaches, make sure they stay away from the curb until the bus has stopped and they know that only one person should board the bus at a time.
They should also be taught to never walk behind the bus and to only cross in front. If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, teach them to do so while making eye contact with the driver and far enough in front of the bus that they can be seen.
They should also follow street crossing rules at the same time by looking both ways – even if the bus is stopped. Exiting a bus this is very important as someone illegally passing from the rear would not see them coming out from in front of the bus – teach them to look both ways at the curb before crossing and once they have breached the front of the bus to go across the other lane(s).
If they are at a corner bus stop – also show teach them to look at both roads. Not just the street they are crossing for oncoming cars that may turn onto the street.
Boarding the Bus
Tell your children to use the hand safety rails when entering and exiting the bus. They are often carrying extra weight which could cause them to fall backward or forward resulting in injury.
Even if they are not carrying extra weight, using the safety rails could keep another child from causing them to fall – either by accident or rushing. Be sure they know to stay seated during the entire ride – no matter what and to always find their seat quickly to avoid the movement of the bus causing them to fall.