Our school-bus fears usually focus on images of some horrible wreck. But children are most likely to get hurt during routine pickup and drop-off, when they're in the "danger zone" -- the area inside a 10-foot radius around the bus, in which small children often become invisible to both the driver and approaching motorists. It's here that kids crossing the street are hit by motorists who illegally pass a stopped bus, or youngsters darting in front of, next to, behind, or even under the bus are inadvertently struck by their own driver. The following tips will help ensure your child's safety.
Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids
- Wait for the bus on the sidewalk, not in the street.
- While waiting, pay close attention and don't fool around with your friends.Wait until the bus has stopped and the door has opened before stepping off the curb. Always stay away from the wheels. Remember: Just because you can see the bus does not mean that the driver can see you.
- While riding the bus, stay seated, face forward, keep the aisles clear, and keep your head and arms inside the vehicle. Always obey the driver's instructions.
- Gather your belongings before you reach your school or stop. Use the handrail while exiting, and be careful of backpacks and other things that dangle.
- When you get off, take five giant steps away from the bus, out of the danger zone.
- Never run back to retrieve a forgotten item or to pick up something you've dropped near or under the bus.
How to Help Protect Your Child
- Assure your child that you won't be upset if he doesn't retrieve a jacket or backpack left on the bus or schoolwork dropped under a wheel.
- Remove or cut off loose drawstrings hanging from your child's clothing or coat. Check her backpack for key chains and other dangling objects that might get caught in a door or handrail.
- Make a point of meeting your child's bus driver. Ask about emergency evacuation procedures and whether there's a fire extinguisher on board. Make sure your child carries a "contact in case of emergency" card with information about allergies and medications. (Even if the driver knows that information, a substitute may not.)
- Urge your school to set up bus-safety education classes for kids, including at least two evacuation drills per year.
- Consider organizing a local bus-safety program. Parents in Chappaqua, NY, working with their school district and bus company, fashioned a program that includes volunteer adult bus-stop monitors and year-round bus-safety education.
- Arrive five minutes before the bus is supposed to get there. Many children are injured as they run to catch up with a moving school bus.
- If your child has to meet the bus when it is dark or at dusk, have him wear bright or reflective clothing.
parenting, education, activities and more
What are we teaching our children when we focus on their achievements rather than their kindness?
Discover the seemingly insignificant things that can affect your chances of getting pregnant.
A few suggested answers for the diciest questions
Other moms can be ruthless when it comes to picking apart your parenting choices. From dissing your decision to go back to work to criticizing when you started baby on solids, here are the most ridiculous comments moms have heard. Bonus, we’ve got just the right way to respond to the haters! You’re welcome.
Nope, you don’t have to spend the next nine months in black elastic-waist pants and oversize sweaters. And you don’t have to shell out a fortune on your “temporary” wardrobe either. Check out these stylish and affordable maternity clothes.
Because society crumbles without us
As a new mom, you’ve recently discovered there are many things you can live without—sleep and modesty being chief among them. But what can’t you live without? Seasoned moms share their Top 10 list for how to survive the early months of motherhood.
Here are our experts' best tips for how to be a positive role model for your kids so that they grow up healthy, strong and confident about the way they look.
The center of the family is your relationship; not the children.
Transform your mornings from grumpy to great by following these 12 simple steps. (Singing in the shower is highly encouraged.)
Got kids that are questioning whether or not the Easter Bunny is real? If you want to keep the tradition going at least one more year, try one of these ideas...