It’s back to school time. In my area, schools don’t start until after Labor Day in September but I know in lots of areas schools start as early as mid August.
No matter who you are, the fact that schools are starting effect you. It effects all of us. It effects drivers who have to watch out for children at bus stops. It effects parents who have kids starting school. Not to mention students, and school officials.
Here are some things to consider to keep your child safe while waiting for the bus, getting on and off the bus and while riding the bus.
- Check out your child’s bus stop. It should be in a well lit area. One of the problems in our area is the high schools here pick up the kids while it’s still dark outside. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. So it’s important that their bus stop is well lit. It should preferably not be on a high traffic road. It also should be easily accessible for the kids. If the bus stop is a danger contact your school to find out how to have it moved.
- Although, not always possible due to job situations, if you can, walk your elementary school aged child to and from the bus stop. Although this may not be needed with older elementary children, it’s the best way to keep the younger ones safe.
- When my kids were young, there were several bullies at the bus stop so I always walked my kids to and from the bus stop. There were several other mothers who did it too at various times. After awhile, we formed a loose co-op where one of us would always be there (even as our kids got older). That way, no one child got teased about having his mommy there. There was always an adult around to make sure the older mean kids were not picking on the younger or more awkward kids. And there was an adult to make sure the kids didn’t get out of control while waiting for the bus. And we moms got a break sometimes from bus stop duty.
- Use some reflective tape that bikers use to put on your kids hats and coats. You can get the removable kind so it can be used only when needed.
- Make sure your child is wearing bright clothing.
- Try to get to the bus stop at least 5 minutes before it’s scheduled arrival.
- When getting ready to get on the bus, the child needs to stay on the curb until the bus has come to a complete stop.
- As the bus approaches, the kids should get in a single file line and wait on the sidewalk until the bus comes to a full stop and opens it’s door.
- If a child is running late and sees the bus coming before he get to the bus stop, he should never run out in front of the bus. I have seen near accidents several times over the years where that scenario happened. It was only by the grace of God and the quick reflexes of the bus driver that the child didn’t get hit.
- Instruct kids to go straight to their bus stop in the morning. No playing in people’s yards and definitely do not play in the roads.
- When boarding or getting off the bus, if the child needs to cross the street, they should check both ways first for traffic. Then they should cross when the bus driver signals for them to cross. Walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus. Stay where the driver can see you and do not get near the wheels.
- Never cross the street behind the bus.
- Do not push or shove while getting on or waiting to get off the bus.
- Unless it’s an emergency, do not bother the bus driver while the bus is moving.
- It’s okay to talk on the bus, but don’t shout or scream as it could distract the driver and cause an accident.
- Children should sit down as soon as possible and stay sitting while the bus is moving.
- While on the bus, don’t put anything such as a book bag or your feet in the aisle. It could trip up someone.
- Remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop and the driver opens the door.
- Do not change seats while on the bus.
- Do not throw anything out the windows or tamper with the emergency door or any other part of the bus.
Here’s to a safe and happy school year!