With the back-to-school season beginning many families are preparing to send their children off to school on the bus. For some, this may be the first year that their child needs to ride the school bus, and they’re wondering what to do and how to keep them safe.
Your child’s safety is an enormous priority so here are some things to consider about your nearby bus stop and how to keep your children safe.
Locating The Bus Stop
If you are new to the area or have not sent your children on the school bus yet you might be unfamiliar with the location of your nearby bus stop. When you’ve not seen a school bus picking up or dropping off children in your area you may need to contact your local school if you haven’t already done so to find out where the nearest stop is located. If your child is taking the bus the school may need to add a stop near you on one of the local buses routes.
In a mobile home park with a number of homes around you, it is likely that there are families whose children take the bus. If so, you may find that the bus stop is located near the end of your street, or possibly at the entrance of the mobile home park. Whatever the case, if your child needs to get out to the bus stop themselves, make sure that the bus stop is within easy walking distance. Otherwise, you may need to drive them to the bus stop in the mornings.
The Risk For Children
When it comes to bus stops there are a few risks to consider. Laws concerning school buses are highly regulated to maximize child safety but every year there are still accidents. These accidents usually happen during the time a child is getting onto or getting off of the bus. The safety risks to consider are: road traffic and other vehicles, moving around the school bus, and entering and exiting the school bus.
Probably the most obvious concern is the road traffic around the bus as it is picking up children. School buses of course have stop signs to warn traffic, but there is always the risk of dangerous drivers that do not comply with school bus traffic laws.
Another concern is with how your children move around the school bus. Children may not approach the school bus safely and attempt to approach the bus while it is still coming to a stop. Moving in front of a moving bus or walking behind a bus out of the driver’s field of view are both unnecessary risks that children can take.
Lastly, while entering and exiting the stairs of a school bus may seem simple it can sometimes pose a safety risk for children. If they are not cautious they could trip and fall going up or down the steps, or there is always the concern of slippery roads during the wintertime as they enter and exit the bus.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
With these risks in mind, there are a number of simple procedures that you and your child can follow to maximize their safety.
First, if it is possible with your schedule, you or one of your child’s guardians should consider waiting with them at the bus stop. This would be more advisable if your child is much younger. This way you are able to help them abide by the following instructions, and monitor their safety yourself.
To deal with road traffic, though vehicles will usually all stop around a stopped school bus, it is helpful if children follow a few procedures. Tell them to not assume that every car will stop around a school bus. Especially if they need to cross the street to approach the bus, teach your kids to double-check traffic by looking both ways as they ordinarily would when crossing the road. Again, if your child needs to cross the road, it is beneficial to have them make eye contact with the school bus driver. The driver can give the signal to your children that it is safe to cross the road and approach the bus.
When approaching the bus, your children should not do so until the bus has come to a complete stop. They also should be at a safe distance away from the curb of the road as the bus approaches. If needing to cross the street they should not cross behind the school bus so that the driver can always keep them in view.
Finally, patience when getting onto and off of the bus should be stressed. Children can dangerously rush upto a moving bus, or trip and fall trying to get up the stairs by trying to run or move too quickly. So help to make sure that they always take caution and as park owners always be looking for ways to keep your park kid-friendly.