National data has recently shown that approximately 17,000 children are injured each year in school bus accidents. Nearly 1/4th of those injuries occurred when the child was boarding or leaving the bus, slip and falls, or being bumped around when the bus suddenly stops or turns.
If your child is one of the 23.5 million children who ride a school bus, you need to talk with him/her about riding safety. School bus safety is an important issue that you should talk with your kids about before the first day of school.
The following are safety tips to go over with your child:
- Wait at the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop and wait for the driver to open the doors before stepping off the curb.
- Never push or play rough at the bus stop.
- Stay seated at all times while riding the bus, never walk around the bus or play/rough house with other kids.
- Wait for the driver to come to a complete stop before leaving your seat to exit the bus.
- Keep head, hands, arms - everything - inside the bus at all times. Never put any part of your body outside of the bus windows.
- Check for loose drawstrings or other objects that could get caught in the bus doors.
- Only cross the street 10 giant steps in front of the bus and only when the driver signals it is clear to do so.
Tracy Andryc is a mother of three and the executive assistant at Prevent Child Abuse Rhode Island. She writes a monthly parenting newsletter called Parenting Rules!Â that covers a variety of parenting and child safety topics. Prevent Child Abuse RI is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure the safety and well-being of children in Rhode Island through awareness, education, and advocacy.
Photo courtesy of Prevent Child Abuse Rhode Island.