Safety is freedom from danger or harm but it also entails taking precautions to prevent an accident or incident. Children need to know what to do if the routine changes... if they miss the bus, if an emergency arises and you cannot be at the bus stop as expected or if for some reason you are not at home when they arrive. Plan ahead and your child will know how to handle these unexpected situations. Safety at the bus stop is extremely important - discuss expected behaviour while your child is waiting for, boarding, and on the bus. The driver needs to be concentrating on the road and not focussed on anyone who is misbehaving or not following the rules.
Bus Stop Safety
* Arrive on time, but not too early.
* Make sure they know what to do if they miss the bus.
* Plan ahead for emergencies and where the child should go if you are unable to be at the stop when they get off or are not at home.
* If it is dark on the way to or from the bus, make sure your children can be seen. Use reflective tape on their knapsacks and avoid dark colors.
* Make sure children wait well back from the road, and stay back until the bus has comes to a complete stop and the driver opens the door.
* Explain they must take 10 giant steps to be least 10 feet (3 meters) away when crossing in front of the bus so the driver can see them. Make sure that they know they should be able to 'see' the driver before crossing and to make eye contact to ensure the driver sees them.
* Forbid running, pushing and horseplay!
* Tell your children it is ok if they forget something on the bus - to not try to run back or re-board the bus to get it.
* Tell your children to come straight home from the bus unless alternate arrangements have been made.
Safety on the Bus
Make sure your child knows and understands the importance of these safety rules.
* Sit down as soon as possible.
* Stay seated at all times.
* Keep hands, arms and head inside the bus at all times.
* No eating or drinking on the bus.
* Keep noise levels down and absolutely no horseplay, pushing, or hitting.
* Use the handrail when leaving the bus.
* Listen to the bus driver and follow directions.
Here are some bus safety links and printouts:
Elmer School Bus Safety - safety rule colouring pages to print
School Buses and Seat Belts
Seatbelts on School Buses
School Bus & School Zone Safety Kids Page