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school bus safetyAs the carefree days of summer give way to the hectic back to-school season, parents should take time to teach and review important safety guidelines with their children. Parents may not realize that unintentional injuries and related deaths can happen on the way to and from school. Whether you drive the kids to school or they walk, bike, or ride the bus, take time out to teach and review important safety guidelines with children to get them back to school safely this fall.

School Bus Safety

About 23.5 million students ride school buses daily. Although this is one of the safest ways to travel to and from school, injuries do occur. In 1999, 31 children ages 14 and under were killed in school bus-related traffic crashes. An estimated 7,000 children were injured in school bus-related incidents. More than half of the children killed were pedestrians. Many injuries happen when children are boarding or exiting the bus. A blind spot extends approximately 10 feet in front of the bus, obstructing the driver's view. Children are not aware of this blind spot and might mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them.

While Waiting for the Bus:

Arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives.

Stay out of the street and avoid horseplay.

Cross the street at least 10 feet (or 10 giant steps) in front of the bus.

Boarding and Leaving the Bus:

Walk in a single-file line.

Use the handrail to avoid falls.

Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before exiting.

Exit from the front of the bus.

Always wait for parents on the same side of the street as the school bus loading/unloading zone.

Be aware of the driver's blind spot (10 feet in front of the bus) when walking away from the bus.

Remove loose drawstrings or ties on jackets and sweatshirts, and replace with Velcro, snaps or buttons. Loose drawstrings or book bags can snag on bus handrails.

Always ask the bus driver for help if anything is dropped while entering or exiting the bus.

While on the bus:School Bus

Remain seated at all times and keep the aisles clear.

Do not throw objects.

Do not shout or distract the driver unnecessarily.

Keep heads and arms inside the bus at all times.

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