Back to School Guide: Bus Safety Tips

School is in full swing and your little ones are settling into their daily routine.  For most of your children, that routine includes a trip on the school bus.  We had the pleasure of speaking to one of LI’s own bus drivers, “Miss Gina”.  We worked together to come up with a list of tips to help your child arrive to and from school safely. Your child’s bus driver is responsible for your child in your absence. They are not only in charge of driving the bus, but doing so while watching over 25-35 children, alone!

  1. Know your child’s bus driver’s name, the bus route #, and bus #, time of arrival TO and FROM school.
  2. Don’t send them with to many belongings. Ask the school ahead of time to coordinate a large item drop off.
  3. There is  no food permitted on the bus – buses are rickety and go over many bumps. Not only does food make a mess, it poses a serious choking hazard. Buses rides are not smooth, take precaution.
  4. Young children should sit in the front of the bus for several reasons: so the bus driver can keep a close eye on the littlest ones, so the little ones are not exposed to more mature language, or actions from the older riders and for their overall safety.  If siblings want to sit together, the older sibling should move to the front.
  5. “Treat the bus like your family car.” No screaming, standing, or playing around. Driving a bus requires utmost concentration, give your driver the best opportunity to drive the bus safely. Also note that excessive noise can be very stressful and increase anxiety in little ones or those with special needs.
  6. Dress appropriately. Proper footwear ensures a safer step while ascending up those slippery bus steps, make sure there aren’t any hanging straps that riders could step on and slip.
  7. While waiting at the bus stop, stand as far back off the street as possible. Corners are especially hard for a driver to navigate. Large piles of snow, oncoming traffic, or road obstructions can make that task even more difficult.  Wait until the bus comes to a full stop before approaching it.
  8. Be on time. If you are late, the bus will be late and due to the “snowball” effect, the children will be late to school. Again, this induces stressful situations. It throws off the rhythm of the children’s day. Be at the stop 5 minutes before. Dressing for the weather will make this a doable feat in the colder months.
  9. Don’t forget to include your bus driver  when sharing any information about your child: special needs, allergy, epi pens, life changes, etc. The are your child’s care takers too!
  10. Create a relationship with your child’s bus driver. Getting to know one another will foster a mutual respect.

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