The bus can be a convenient way to make sure your child getsto school on time every single day. Many kids also like riding the bus becauseit gives them a chance to hang out with their friends before the school daystarts!
However, that doesn’t mean riding the bus is always safe.There are a lot of things about riding the bus that can be dangerous, but youcan reduce those dangers by teaching your child these safety tips.
Know the Safety Laws Where You Live
It’s important to know the safety laws where you live. Forexample, there has been a 16-percentincrease in school bus-related accidents in Florida between 2012 and 2015,which has prompted bus drivers to be trained not to assume children will lookbefore crossing the street. Drivers are instructed to drive well below thespeed limit while passing children, and they are instructed to be prepared tostop immediately.
When you know the laws where you live, you can share thoselaws and regulations with your children. For example, they should know thatvehicles aren’t supposed to pass a school bus and that when the stop sign isextended, it means they can approach the bus.
Teach Your Child What to Do While Waiting for the Bus
The majority of the dangers related to school buses have todo with what happens while your child is outside the bus. A few rulesfor the bus stop can go a long way towards making sure your child is safe.They include:
- Teaching your child to stand three giant steps awayfrom the curb.
- Teaching your child to wait until the school buscomes to a complete stop before getting on.
- Instructing your child to look both ways whencrossing the street.
- Telling your child to cross in front of the busif they have to cross the street after getting off.
If your child is new to riding the bus, consider waitingwith them at the bus stop for the first few days or weeks. That way, you canremind your child of the rules until they become a habit and they remember themon their own.
Make Sure They Have Something to Do on the Bus
It’s easy for kids to get restless on the bus. That can bedangerous. If they are loud or they decide to misbehave on the bus, they candistract the driver and create an accident. Make sure your child has somethingto do on the bus so they aren’t tempted to become a distraction.
Teaching your child busgames can be a fun way for them to pass the time on the bus with theirfriends, especially if they have a long commute.
A book is always a good way to pass the time, but electronicdevices can be helpful too. Just make sure your child brings headphones!
Tell Them to Keep Their Belongings Near
Kids have a tendency to spread out, and before you know it,their belongings are everywhere. On the bus, that can be dangerous.
Dealingwith bullies can cause a lot of stress, so teaching your child to prevent apossible bullying incident can help. Tell them to keep their belongings intheir lap or under their seat so bullies aren’t tempted to grab their bag andsee what’s inside.
Keeping the aisles clear is also a safety concern. Backpackscan pose a tripping hazard as kids are getting on and off the bus, and they canbecome projectiles if the driver has to slam on the brakes.
Encourage Them to Report Bad Behavior on the Bus
There are plenty of ways the bus driver can affect thebehavior on the bus, but that doesn’t mean the driver is going to catcheverything. It is common for the bus driver to miss a lot of bullying behavioron the bus as they try to focus on the road.
Although your child may be tempted to keep their mouth shutbecause they don’t want to be a tattle tell, it’s important to teachyour child to speak up. If they see something bad happen on the bus, theyshould tell the bus driver, their teacher, the principal, or a parent.
It can be scary to let your child ride the school bus all bythemselves, but it can also empower them. It provides them with a sense ofindependence, and with these tips, they can learn to take control of their ownsafety too.