As a parent of a young school-aged child, deciding to let them ride the bus can be scary and difficult.
There are ways to help ensure your child’s safety and calm your nerves.
Consider having your child wear a brightly-colored shirt, sweater or jacket to make them more visible in the early morning hours. Make sure to tuck your child’s belongings away in their backpack before leaving the house to prevent the distraction of dropping things and having to stop along the way to the bus stop. You should also practice your morning routine as a family to help everyone get good at being on time. It is never a good idea to run after a school bus, so you should make getting to the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time a priority.
Teach your child proper bus stop etiquette and emphasize why following these rules is important for safety. Children love to play and be creative but reinforce with your child that the bus stop is not the place for games. Encourage your child to stay on sidewalks as much as possible and to stand back at least 10 feet from the road while waiting to protect them from distracted drivers. If crossing the street is necessary on their walk to the bus stop, remind them how crucial it is to look both ways more than once before crossing. If you know other families with children in your neighborhood, consider reaching out to organize a group walk to the bus stop to ease your mind and add a layer of safety to your child’s morning routine.
By taking a proactive approach, you can help protect your child and your peace of mind.