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Teaching Your Child Bus Safety

Safety Tips for your Child on how to ride the school bus

There are many rules and regulations to teach your child when school begins. Some rules will come from teachers, administrators and bus drivers, and others will come from you.

Safety on the bus is not a subject to take lightly. Each year, bus accidents happen from children not obeying the safety rules. Some kids claim they don't know them. It's important for children to understand that when they're on the bus, the importance of bus safety is for all the children who ride the school bus.

Here are a few issues to discuss with your child about safely getting on and off the school bus.

  • While you are waiting for the bus, stay away from the curb of the sidewalk.
  • Don't sit down on the grass. Stand up for all drivers to see you.
  • Don't run or get excited with the other children, especially during the winter when slippery ice patches can be found. You might slip on the ice and underneath the bus.
  • Get ready when the bus is in sight by taking your school bag(s) in your hands.
  • Along with the other children, form an orderly line one behind the other.
  • When the bus has come to a complete stop, carefully get on.
  • Get on one by one, without pushing. The bus driver will wait for everyone to get on the bus before closing the door and driving away.
  • Once on the bus, do not yell, fight or stand up. This will make the bus driver pay less attention to the road and look more at the children. The bus driver's eyes need to be on the road – at all times. Don't distract him.
  • Keep arms and head inside the bus at all times.
  • Never throw anything outside the bus.
  • Do not eat, drink or litter in the bus.
  • Listen to the bus driver's instructions – at all times. Be polite and say good-bye and thank you when you get off the bus.
  • When it's time for your bus stop, stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • Get off the bus one by one, holding the railing and without pushing one another.
  • Cross the street in front of the bus, not behind it. The bus driver will give you a sign when you can cross the street – wait for that sign.
  • Listen carefully when the driver or teacher shows you where the emergency exits are.

Many schools have regular bus evacuation drills for emergency cases. If your school doesn't offer bus evacuation drills, discuss it with the school administrators and talk to the parents' committee. Ask them to get involved. Along with fire drills, bus evacuation drills should be done at least twice a year.

Bus safety rules should be repeated to school-age children at the beginning of the school year as well during the middle and at the end of the school year. These rules can't be repeated enough in order to ensure a safe bus ride.

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