They say, "never say never," but when it comes children's safety on the school bus, there are some things kids should never do, because these actions may put themselves and the whole bus at risk.
Although school buses are considered a much safer transportation option than personal vehicles, each year many children in the U.S. are injured in school bus-related accidents. However, if children remember these nine simple rules when they are in or around the school bus, they can help to ensure that their journey to and from school is a safe one.
Late children tend to run to the bus stop or run after the school bus if it has already left. This can be extremely dangerous if they run across a road and neglect to pay attention to traffic. Kids should always arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early to avoid the A.M. panic.
Clothing with long, hanging drawstrings or backpacks with loose, baggy straps can be a hazard on a school bus. Unruly drawstrings and straps can get caught in a bus' handrails and doors. They can also become wrapped around or lodged in a seat, which could limit a child's ability to exit the bus quickly in an emergency.
Children have a much higher chance of being injured in the loading or unloading zone around a school bus, than inside the school bus itself. Advise kids to stand 6 feet or "3 giant steps" away from the curb while waiting at the bus stop.
When walking in front of the bus, instruct children to always be at least 10 feet or "5 giant steps" ahead of the bus before crossing the street.
A bus driver should always be able to see kids, and kids should always be able to see the bus driver. A good rule when crossing in front of the school bus is to make eye contact with the bus driver first, to ensure that both parties can see each other.
Make sure children know never to try and retrieve something they dropped under or near the bus on their own. This could be dangerous because the driver may not see them. If they do drop an item, they should ask for help from the bus driver.
Remind kids to be patient when boarding the bus. It's not race or a competition for the best seat. Children should line up away from the street at the bus stop. Then, they should wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
Although it may seem like fun to kids for some reason, hanging body parts out of the bus window can lead to serious injuries. Kids should never put their heads, arms, or hands out of the window.
Older children typically sit in the back of the bus and while they may be intrigued by the emergency exit door, but they should never touch or open it. They should never block the door with bags or backpacks either. In the case of an emergency, students should listen to the driver's instructions regarding the emergency exit door.