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Bus Safety Rules for Tweens

by Lori Sciame | September 3rd, 2015 | Safety, Tweens

school bus (400x400)Considering how many children in the United States ride to and from school on a bus each day, the rate of injuries due to crashes is rather low.  That is the good news.  Now the bad news: children may suffer injuries on the school bus for a variety of other reasons.  To ensure your tween remains safe on the bus, read the following safety rules.

Discourage Horseplay

Tweens like to roughhouse.  While physical play burns off energy, it should not be encouraged while a child rides on the bus.  Discuss the need for proper behavior with your child, including remaining in one’s seat while the bus is in motion. Be specific.  For example, explain that climbing over a seat to tussle with a friend only increases the risk for injury.

Explain the Hazards of Strings and Backpacks

Jacket strings and backpack straps can become tangled in the bus door, especially when a child exits the vehicle.  To prevent injury due to falls, remind your child to be aware of this potential hazard.  If that doesn’t work, you may need to shorten the strings on your child’s coat yourself.

Remind a Child to Exit Only After the Bus Stops

Children can be impatient.  This can lead to unintentional injuries, especially when it comes to exiting a bus.  Remind your tween that even if the bus drive opens the door prematurely, he or she should not exit until the vehicle completely halts.

Show that Handrails Work

It may seem like a no brainer, but children may not realize that handrails exist for a reason.  These handy devices should be used each time a child boards or exits the bus.  Adults realize that handrails provide steady guidance, but a tween might not know.  All you need to do is to show your child how valuable handrails can be.

Dropping Something Can Lead to Injury

Tweens tend to drop belongings at an alarming rate.  Books, shoes, lunch boxes, and even science projects can slip from a child’s hands as she exits the bus.  This can spell disaster, as the child may be hit by the bus while bending to pick up the item.  As explained by, “…they (the child) should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.”  This action may prevent an unintentional injury.

Warn a Child to Steer Clear of a Moving Bus

One of my childhood friends lost his life in a bus accident. He had decided to chase a school bus while on his bicycle. While attempting to keep up with the accelerating vehicle, he got too close to the wheels.  Sadly, the bus ran him over – while his friends watched.  Horrific?  Yes!  Please remind your tween that a bus can easily crush a human; therefore, a child should always steer clear of moving buses. If one must cross in front of a stopped bus, make eye contact with the driver.  (In addition, make sure no other vehicles are approaching).

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