Sending your child on the bus saves you the headaches of the school drop-off routine, but the bus stop can be a potentially dangerous spot. The bus stops are normally near the road where your child is at risk for getting hit by a car. Potential child abductions can also be a concern. Use these tips to increase your child’s bus stop safety.
Get There Early
An easy way to help your child stay safe is to get to the bus stop early. If he’s running late and rushing, he might cross roads without looking or run up to the bus stop too fast and run into the road. If the bus is already pulling up to the bus stop, he might run too close to the bus where the driver can’t see him well. Leave the house in plenty of time so your child can walk to the bus stop and pay attention to what is going on around him.
Once your child arrives at the bus stop, he needs to find a safe place to wait. Standing on the curb or near the road puts him at risk of getting him by a car. Have him move back as far as possible from the road while waiting. This keeps some distance from cars. It also keeps him away from any cars parked near the bus stop that can make him difficult to see.
Waiting can be boring, but running around or roughhousing at the bus stop is dangerous. He might lose track of where he is and end up out in the street or in front of a nearby driveway. Remind the kids to never play near parked cars in the area.
Your child may think he is too old to have a parent supervising the bus stop, but an adult waiting with the kids can increase safety significantly. An adult makes sure the kids wait safely and don’t do make any dangerous situations. The adult can help resolve disagreements so they don’t turn into fights at the bus stop. Supervision also helps keep away potential predators or abductors. If you know the parents of other kids who wait at the bus stop, work out a schedule so you take turns being the bus stop monitor.
Wait Before Boarding
It’s tempting for kids to start walking toward the bus as it approaches, but teach them to stand back until the bus is fully stopped. The child might not anticipate exactly where the bus is going and could get in the path of the bus. The driver might not be able to see the child if he moves too closely as it approaches. The child could also lose his balance or slip into the way to the bus. Teach your child to stay put until the bus stops and the door opens. This is a signal that the driver is ready for the child to board.