Are your kids back in school yet or starting school again soon?
Here in Albany, NY we don’t go back to school until after Labor Day, but I know that some areas of the country start much earlier than us.
And if your child might be taking the bus, I wanted to share some school bus safety tips for kids with you to help keep them safe on their way to and from school.
Growing up, when we lived in California, I lived close enough to walk to school. That was also the case when we lived in Washington, D.C. But after moving to Toledo, I started taking the bus to get to my junior high school.
These tips are mostly for younger children, but can also serve as a good reminder for older children.
Riding a bus can sometimes be a scary and intimidating prospect. Especially for a young child who has never experienced this before.
There can be a lot of noise, unfamiliar smells, and strange people. Riding the bus is hardly like getting in mom or dad’s mini van, but soon enough your child will be accustomed to it.
Here’s how you can get your child ready for his or her first bus ride and how to establish safe school bus habits from day one.
8 School Bus Safety Tips for Kids
- Find out if you can do a practice run on the bus. Some schools will have an opportunity for your child to ride the bus around the block so he can see what it’s like to be on a bus and learn the rules of the bus.
- At the bus stop, make sure your child stands three giant steps away from the curb and that he gets on and off the bus one at a time.
- Children should be told to stay seated on the bus until it comes to a complete stop. Then they can get off to get off the bus.
- Crossing the street should always be done in front of the bus. A child should not run, but walk and should be sure he can see the bus driver while crossing and follow the driver’s instructions on whether or not it’s safe to cross. Going one stop further, children should be taught to look left, look right, and make sure it’s safe before crossing.
- Always use the handrails to get on and off the bus. Parents, make sure your child doesn’t have anything dangling that could get caught or trip them up.
- Children should face forward and sit on their bottoms at all times on the bus. And it should go without saying that hands and feet belong inside the bus at all times.
- There should be no more than three children per seat on the bus.
- If there are seat belts on the bus then the child should strap in. Most buses do not have seat belts, though, which is why it’s important that you remind your child the importance of sitting still and facing forward with feet in front of them at all times on the bus.
Reassure your child that riding the bus is very safe, but it’s very important that he follow the rules and listen to the bus driver.
With these school bus safety tips, your child’s first bus ride to school doesn’t have to be a nerve wrecking experience… for you or your child. And hopefully you set them up for continued safety during the school year and beyond.
What school bus safety tips do you have?