When I was in first grade, I rode the bus to school every morning. It would pick me and my friends up in front of our neighbor’s house and carry us through the busy streets of suburban Salt Lake City right to the elementary school’s front step. It was scary at first, as new things can be for kids, but I soon realized how much I loved the bus. I got time to see my friends before school and riding the bus made me feel independent from a pretty young age. My parents probably liked the bus too: my riding it meant that they didn’t have to drive carpool.
Hopping on the school bus for the first time is a pretty big step for kids. It’s also one of the safest ways to get to school, thanks to the training and preparation that school bus drivers receive. However, the bus is still a large motor vehicle, and on the road, safety isn’t always guaranteed. With over 10 million students taking the bus every day, it’s important to discuss bus safety.
To make bus trips even safer, we at Troomi have come up with three simple rules for students new to the bus. After all, when it comes to school bus safety for students, you can never be too careful.
Be Alert at the Bus Stop
The bus stop is an exciting place for young students to start the school day surrounded by friends and fresh air. However, it’s also a place where kids should exercise caution. After all, they’re standing pretty close to the street and, if my math is correct, kids + street = disaster.
While you walk your child to the bus stop, remind them to be alert while waiting for the bus. This means keeping an eye on the road and staying at least three steps away from the curb. If there’s a bench at the bus stop, encourage your kiddo to take a seat so they aren’t tempted to get close to the street.
As the bus approaches, make sure your child waits for it to make a complete stop before they walk up to the door. Even when the bus is stopped, kiddos should never walk in front or behind it; if they can’t see the bus driver, the bus driver likely can’t see them.
Stay in Your Seat and Be Respectful
Okay, your child has made it onto the bus and found a friend to sit next to. Now what?
First, your child should get comfy in their seat, because they’re not going anywhere until the bus reaches the school. Remind them to stay in their seat, even when the bus has stopped. It can be tempting to get up and run around when surrounded by friends, but leaving your seat while the bus is in motion is a recipe for disaster.
Teach your kiddos to use their inside voice and be respectful of their fellow passengers. Encourage them to have a quiet activity at the ready while the bus is in motion, like reading a chapter book or playing a road trip game with a friend. If your child has a Troomi phone, they can pass the time by practicing new skills with KidSmartⓇ apps like Duolingo and Sketchbook.
Finally, remind your child to be respectful of the bus driver. They’re operating a pretty big vehicle loaded with little scholars and need to be able to focus on the road without fear of distraction. If the bus driver says to quiet down or close a window, there’s undoubtedly a good reason for it. Bus drivers are just as worried about your child’s safety as you are and will do whatever they need to get the bus to school safely.
Be Careful as You Exit the Bus
Once the bus reaches the hallowed halls of your local school, your child may think they are done with their journey and free from any safety obligations—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Before the trip reaches its end, they need to exit the bus safely.
A school bus unloads from the front to the back, just like an airplane. Remind your child to let kids in seats ahead of them exit the bus first. Tell them not to push or shove their way to the front of the line. Students are all going to the same destination with class starting at the same time, so it doesn’t really matter who gets out first and who gets out twelfth.
If your child has to cross the street after exiting, tell them to look both ways to verify that no cars are coming before they make the journey across.
Bus Rides Are Even Safer with Troomi
Sending your child out on the school bus alone can be as nerve-racking for parents as it is exciting for kids. It doesn’t have to be scary though; just follow these three simple tips.
For a little extra school bus safety for students, check out Troomi! Smartphones from Troomi feature a top-of-the-line GPS system that helps parents follow along with every step of their child’s school bus adventure. The military grade security and optional SafeListing™ feature aren’t too shabby, either.
Happy bussing, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the Troomi blog for more parenting tips and tricks!