Dread it or love it, your children have gotta go to school. Here are safety tips for parents and students to keep everyone safe, happy and healthy:
To the Bus Stop:
- Walk your young child to the bus stop and have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are much easier for drivers to see.
- Practice good pedestrian behavior. You and your children should walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, they should stay out of the street.
- If they must walk in the street, they should walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as they can.
- Tell your child to always stop and look left, right and then left again if they must cross the street. They should do the same thing at driveways and alleys.
At the Bus Stop
- Don’t let your child play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is dangerous near traffic and may result in someone being in the way of a moving vehicle.
- Make sure your child stands at least ten feet (five giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. The child will then be out of the way of traffic.
On and Off the Bus
- Warn children that if they drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.
- Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to sneak by busses on the right, which is against the law in Pennsylvania!
- Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.
- Give your child a note or follow the school’s procedures if you would like for the child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned. The driver isn’t allowed to let a child off at another stop without written permission.
- If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.
Exiting the Bus
- Teach your child that if they leave something on the bus, they should never to return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see them come back and she may begin moving the bus.
- Teach your children to respect the "Danger Zone" which surrounds all sides of the bus. The "Danger Zone" is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always have your children remain ten steps away from the bus to be out of the "Danger Zone" and where the driver can see them.
- Tell your children to always cross the street in front of the bus. They should never go behind the bus. If they drop something near the bus, they should tell the bus driver before they attempt to pick it up, so they will know where they are.
- Warn your children to never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Your children should always go straight home and tell you if a stranger tries to talk to them or pick them up.