It’s back to school time in communities across America. That means more than 23 million children taking a bus to school.
The school bus transportation system is one of the largest in the country. However, more than 17,000 school kids end up in emergency rooms each year due to school bus related accidents.
That’s why My Alarm Center offers these tips for parents and kids to reduce the likelihood of school bus accidents or accidents at the school bus stop:
1. Walk with your child to the bus stop. Wait with them until the bus arrives. Walk with your children until you feel they respond well in most situations.
2. Allow plenty of time to get to the bus stop. Avoid having to rush, as rushing can lead to injuries.
3. Don’t let kids listen to iPods or play handheld video games while walking to school or at the bus stop. These items lead to distractions which could result in injury.
4. Children should never speak to strangers at the bus stop and should never enter the car of a stranger. Children should head straight home if a stranger bothers them or tries to pick them up.
5. As the bus approaches, children should stand 3 giant steps away from the curb and wait to approach the bus until after it has come to a complete stop.
6. Make sure your kids use handrails when boarding and exiting the bus.
7. If kids drop things when boarding or exiting the bus, teach them to tell the bus driver first before attempting to retrieve the item. The goal is for the bus driver to see them and be aware of their activities before driving the bus.
8. Teach your children to go directly to a seat when boarding a bus and to sit facing forward for the entire ride. Remind them they must fasten seat belts if they are available.
9. Review all of the rules of the school district and bus driver to make sure your child understands them and complies with them.
10. Instruct your kids to keep the aisles clear at all times and not to play with the emergency exits.
11. Kids should talk quietly rather than yelling and screaming so the bus driver is not distracted.
12. Emphasize to your children to never throw things on the bus or out the windows.
13. Have the kids always stay seated when the bus is moving and make sure that they know to not put their head, feet, arms or hands out of the window.
14. Train your kids to always follow the instructions of the bus driver.
15. Children should never attempt to exit the bus until it comes to a complete stop.
16. If meeting your children at the bus stop after school, wait on the same side of the street where the child will be dropped off so they won’t have to cross the street alone.
17. Make sure your children know to never walk behind a bus (the driver may not see them).
18. If your children need to cross the street after leaving the bus, teach them to take 6 big steps in front of the bus, and then to make eye contact with the bus driver. Instruct them to cross when they know it is safe to do so.
19. Teach your kids to look both ways before crossing the street.
20 Have your children come straight home once they get off the bus so an adult knows they are safe and sound.
Keeping school kids safe on buses and at bus stops is important for all of us. If you have a safety tip we haven’t shared in this post, please leave it in the comments section below.