Before your child starts school this year, take a minute to review these school bus safety rules with your child.
1. Have your child carry all his belongings in a backpack or school bag. That way, they won’t drop things and have to bend down to pick them up. Drivers may not be able to see a crouching child.
2. Dress your child in bright, contrasting colors so they can be seen especially on bad weather days. Jackets and backpacks with reflectors are a good idea.
3. Make sure your child leaves plenty of time to get to the bus stop without running. Running can be dangerous as children may fall or may not be able to stop in time for approaching traffic.
4. Walk your young children to the bus stop. Encourage older children to go in groups.
5. Follow pedestrian safety rules. Walk on the sidewalk, cross only at marked crosswalks and stay out of the street. If your child must cross the street to board the bus, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the driver to flash the red lights before crossing. Look left, right and let again before crossing the street.
6. Do not allow your child roughhouse or to play running or pushing games at the bus stop or near the street. It is dangerous to do this near traffic.
7. Make sure your child stays ten feet away from the road while waiting for the bus. Ten feet can be translated to about five giant child steps. Do not go any closer until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver says it is safe to board.
8. Tell children that if they drop something while getting on or off the bus, they should tell the driver and follow his instructions instead of bending down to get it. The driver may not see a bent child.
9. Children should not try to stop a moving bus to retrieve something they have forgotten on the bus. Instead, they should ask a parent to call the school or bus garage.
10. Children should look for traffic before stepping off the bus. Impatient drivers will sometimes try to sneak around on the right side of a parked school bus.
11. Don’t allow your children to wear clothing or backpacks with loose drawstrings that may get caught in the handrail or on the door of the bus while exiting.
12. If you pick up your child at the school bus stop, wait on the side of the street where they will be dropped off and then walk them across the street. Children are so happy to see parents at the end of the day that they may dash across the street without looking.
13. Your child should only cross in front of the school bus when the driver says it is safe. He should never cross behind a school bus.
14. Remind your child to stay seated while the bus is moving and to follow the instructions of the school bus driver. He should not do things that will distract the driver and keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.
15. Finally, let your child know that they should report any bullying or problems on the bus to you and to their teacher.