Back to School Bus Safety

For many school-age children, the school day begins and ends with a bus ride. Statistically speaking, buses are the safest form of transportation for children to and from school - even safer than riding in the car with you or walking. However, it is important to have a dialogue with your student to ensure that they are traveling safety. Be sure that your child follows the best safety practices for a successful school year. 
 
Stick to a Routine. Ensure that your child has a routine they can follow in the morning so they are not running late. Rushing around in the morning can cause children to not be as aware and cautious as they would normally be, which can then lead to safety concerns. Unless your child is one of those rare creatures who likes mornings, it might be best to prepare for the day as much as possible before bedtime the night before, so there is less left to do in the morning. Also teach your children that while it is important to be punctual, nothing should ever compromise their safety. Read more back to school tips here
 
Ride Smart. Teach children to follow all the rules put forth by the bus driver and the school in regards to their safety. It is important that children know that when they are on the bus, the bus driver is in charge. The bus driver has the tremendous responsibility of transporting children safely, and they should be focused on the road and not having to police misbehaving children. Be sure they know the importance of remaining seated for the duration of the ride, and to always keep their belongings stored so they do not become a hazard to other children or the driver. 
 
Walk Safely. The few steps from the house to the bus, and from the bus to the school are often more dangerous than the ride itself. Teach children to always look both ways, even if the bus driver says it's okay. It never hurts to check again. Make sure that children always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before approaching it or exiting the bus.  
 
Communicate. Another unseen danger that can take place on the way to school is bullying. Dealing with bullying on the bus can be tough because the children are in a confined area where separation is difficult. It is next to impossible for the bus driver to observe and take action on this issue while also driving. Make sure your child knows they can always talk to you if they, or someone they know, is being bullied. Ignoring the issue often just makes it worse, so it is important that you have an open dialogue about how to handle bullying on the bus and at school. 
 
By taking a few precautions, you can ensure that your child arrives at school safely and ready to learn.