August is the time when families focus their attention on getting children back to school. While you want to make sure they have new clothes and all the proper supplies they will need, it is important to spend some time going over some basic safety precautions. Riding a school bus is one of the safest means of getting your child to and from school, but accidents and injuries can still occur.
Getting Children Safely On & Off The Bus
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 25 million children throughout the U.S. ride the school bus each year. In general, children are more at risk for motor vehicle accidents riding with their parents on the way to and from school than they are from an actual bus accident. The majority of school bus injuries actually occur as the result of unsafe or inappropriate behavior during the bus ride or when students are getting off and on. To prevent injuries, parents should make sure their children follow these safety tips:
- Use handrails when going up or down bus steps
- Stay seated in one spot at all times
- Keep hands and arms inside windows
- Keep the aisles clear of books and backpacks
- Avoid screaming or other activities that could distract the bus driver
- Gather your belonging before you reach your stop
- Do not get up from your seat until the bus stops completely
If your child experiences problems on the bus, either with the driver or with other students, you should report it immediately to your school’s transportation department.
Before & After Bus Rides
While school buses are one of the safest ways for students to travel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports it is the time immediately before and after the bus comes when the greatest number of injuries occur. To help keep your children safe during this time, make sure they follow these tips:
- When waiting for the bus, stand back from the curb and stay clear of any traffic
- Line up in an orderly fashion as the bus approaches
- When getting off a bus, make sure the driver sees you, and wait for them to signal before attempting to cross
- When crossing, do so at least 10 feet in front of the bus
- Even after the driver signals, look left, then right, then left again before walking into the road
- Stay completely clear of the rear wheels of the bus at all times
If you live off a highway or other high traffic area, you may want to ask the school or local police department to provide a crossing guard.
Get Help Today
If your child is injured on the bus or due to another type of school-related injury, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Childhood injuries can result in lasting impairments, and you will want to make sure you can get the compensation your child needs for medical expenses and care during their recovery.