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The first time every Kindergarten parent sends their kid to school, an overwhelming amount of emotions hit. You’re anxious about the experience, nervous for them and even a bit excited (a few hours to yourself, maybe?). Putting them on the school bus is a huge deal. It’s vital to teach them the importance of school bus safety, at such an early age, to set them up for continuous great school years.
Back in the day, when I was in elementary school in Minnesota, I slipped on the ice and fell under the school bus. It’s one of my earliest childhood memories that still haunts me to this day. Thinking back, I know that paying attention and being cautious could’ve helped prevent that fall.
How to Discuss School Bus Safety With Your Kids
Talk About School Bus Safety
I casually talked about school bus safety with my son when we were getting his school supplies ready for the year. You can show them how to be proactive about their safety. Little things, like tying your shoe laces, are too often forgotten when we’re rushing to school on time.
As a parent, you can ask your school district what they are doing to keep their students safe while transporting them to and from school each day. It’s a big chunk of time that your child in someone else’s control. Safely transporting students to school, home, and extracurricular activities is a major task for school bus drivers.
The Advantages of Propane School Buses
Did you know that propane autogas school bus engines are 50 percent quieter than diesel engines? It not only makes for a more pleasant ride, but a safer one because drivers need to be focused and can hear better with a propane engine.
Propane school buses offer an added peace of mind for everyone. An automatic shut-off valve prevents the flow of fuel to the engine when it’s not running, even if the ignition switch is in the “on” position. Plus, buses fueled with propane autogas are crash tested for impact in the side and rear areas, meeting rigorous U.S. FMVSS and motor vehicle safety standards.
Another safety issue we don’t usually consider is the harmful effects of diesel engine exhaust. The World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency have identified diesel engine exhaust as a carcinogen, which can cause short- and long-term health effects. With the emergence of alternative fuels like propane autogas, the days of exposing young passengers to a black cloud of diesel exhaust are over.
School Bus Safety Tips
Getting Ready For School:
Ensure loose drawstrings, chains or other dangling objects are removed from clothing, coats, and bags. Make sure they leave home on time so they can walk to the bus stop and arrive before the bus is due, typically at least five minutes before. Running after or in front of a bus is dangerous.
At The Bus Stop:
Wait in a location where the driver can see you as they drive down the street. Never wait in a house or car. Playing with balls or other toys that could roll into the street is dangerous.
Walking To The Bus Stop:
Walk your young child to the bus stop or have children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see. Practice good pedestrian behavior: Walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk, stay out of the street.
Getting On and Off The Bus:
Warn children that if they drop something getting on and off the bus, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow their instructions. Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus.
If you meet your child after school, wait on the side where they’ll exit — not across the street. They might be so excited to see you that they run across the street without looking both ways.
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