It’s that time of year again – back to school! It’s an exciting time for kids and parents alike, as summer boredom becomes a distant memory. New teachers, new classes, new friends – students have a lot to look forward to! Parents may have mixed emotions, especially for all those first-timers. However you may feel, one thing is certain – safety must always be a priority! For those students riding the school bus, there are special safety concerns that should be discussed with your children. Below are some guidelines you should establish with your children prior to school starting and continue to discuss throughout the school year.
Bus Stop Safety
While waiting for the bus, you should always stand at least three steps back from the curb. Depending on where your stop is located, there may be other special traffic concerns such as bike paths, turning lanes, etc. Always use the handrails when entering the bus, watching out for backpacks and other kids. If you have to cross any roads to enter your bus, make sure you look both ways and then look again. If you forget or drop something around the bus stop, make sure the driver sees you and the bus is not moving before running after it. Once you are on the bus, it is imperative that you follow all the rules so as not to distract the driver or pose a risk to other students.
It is critically important that you know your neighbors. Living in the suburbs of the DC area, you may feel as though you can trust your neighborhood. Hopefully, that is the case. However, kidnapping and other crimes can occur anywhere, regardless of the status of the neighborhood. You must always follow direct paths to and from your bus stop and avoid any shortcuts. If a stranger tries to talk with you, run straight home and tell your parents. Never, ever get into a car with a stranger or accept any gift. Try to always walk to and from your bus stop with a buddy.
Know the Law
Laws vary slightly state by state; but for the most part, you should always stop when you see flashing lights and the Stop Sign popping out from the sides of the bus. Even if you are not required by law to stop, use extreme caution when driving near a school bus. Children are very unpredictable in their movements, so always be prepared to brake for a child running across the street. Know the laws in your state as it pertains to divided highways and intersections. There is nothing more precious than the life of a child, so don’t be in too much of a hurry that you put their lives in danger to avoid being a couple minutes late.
Through the eyes of children, school buses can be an exciting adventure! While maintaining their innocent wonder, be sure to discuss these topics with your children and make sure they understand safety precautions and rules to follow when riding the school bus. If you would like more information on keeping your home secure while they’re at school and you’re at work, please contact Watch Guard today!