School buses are one of the safest means of transportation for students. The use of advanced school bus transportation software in schools nowadays is enhancing the overall safety and convenience to the next level.
However, one should not forget about the preparations to be made before utilizing the school bus transportation services. Both the students using the service for the first time and their parents would be worried about the voyage and related things unless they know well about the services.
Nevertheless, preparing your child for school bus voyage can be a matter of excitement and fun if handled in the most optimal way. So here we can have a short look at the areas to be focussed and things to look for before using the school bus transportation services.
1. Converse with your kids: It is important to make a conversation with your child regarding the bus voyage if they are travelling alone without your company for the first time.
Explaining what they should not expect, and to help them come out of their insecurities during the journey. Also, give them relevant tips about the rules to be followed when using a school bus, the safety measures to be taken care of and importantly about punctuality as it is not fair to keep others waiting for you.
2. Don’t skip the bus tour: For first time bus voyagers, the school management usually provides a bus tour to make things comfortable for them. Make the most out of the bus tour and let your child experience the fun and awareness of bus travel in advance.
So they will have an idea about how to board the bus, how to get seated in the bus comfortably without much delay and just look around and enjoy the view from the bus. This is also a chance for them to clarify any of their doubts they might come across during the travel.
3. Teach the basic details to remember: Travelling in a school bus without parents is in fact responsibility training for kids to handle themselves. So teach them the basic details to remember to make the voyage comfortable or in case to use when they are in some sort of trouble.
This includes their official name, address and emergency phone number. Knowing the school name, teacher’s name, route number and driver’ name would be an advantage.
4. Make a visit to the bus stop: Make sure that you go to the allotted bus stop in advance and make sure the place is comfortable and familiar for the child. You can teach them how to stand safely in the bus stop and how to identify the allocated bus.
A brief awareness about the traffic rules and safety measures about getting in and out of the bus can be good. See that there is no pit or other dangerous things in that area and give them safety awareness if there are any.
5. Understand vehicle safety rules: Make them understand the vehicle safety rules before they start travelling by the school bus. This includes staying seated while the bus is moving, maintaining a forward looking posture throughout the journey, behaving well with the bus mates, keeping all belongings safe and more.
Also students are not encouraged to stand up unless their stop arrives and avoid stepping down from the moving bus.
6. Have a personal connect with driver: It would be good if you can maintain a personal connect with the school bus driver and make him talk with your kid.
This would help the child to have a sense of safety inside the bus and talk to him without any fear if he faces any kind of bullying or other troubles inside the bus. It would prompt the child to make any constructive criticism regarding the bus voyage without suffering silently.
7. Arrange a care taker: It would be a good decision to arrange a care taker to drop your child at the bus stop and be with him until the bus comes and similarly wait for him at the stop to pick him up before the bus arrives. Follow this for at least the first few days or weeks until the child gets comfortable with the bus journey.
You can slowly stop this gesture and make the child more independent. The care taker can either be an elder sibling or a friend or the parents themselves if possible.
8. Follow the bus: Some children may find it difficult to cope up with the bus travel in case they are into it for the first time. It would be good if parents can follow the bus to school and similarly from school to home for the first few days.
This gives students a feeling of comfort and safety as their parents are around them. Follow the same until they are comfortable to carry out things on their own.
9. Make regular chats with driver: Make it a habit to have a regular chat with the bus driver regarding your child’s behaviour in the bus and other bus safety measures. This gives the child a feeling that the parents are responsible for their safety and they are keeping track of his/her journey.
This gives a sense of confidence for the student to travel without any fear and the driver would be more responsible as parents are keeping a watch on them.
10. Behaving at bus stop: It is important to behave well at the bus stop too. You have to advise your child to arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes prior to the bus arrival time. This helps to avoid rushing for the bus at the last moment or even missing the bus.
Ask your child to wait patiently at the bus stop until the bus arrives and opens the door for them and avoid rushing to the bus once they see the vehicle. If there are more students at your pick up point, maintain a queue and get in and down safely and avoid unnecessary pushing.
11. Handling a missed bus: There can be instances when your child misses the bus for any reason. So it is important to train them to handle the situation without panicking. If they miss the bus at the pickup point, teach them how to get back home safely.
And in case they are left at school and the bus is gone, teach them how to meet the teacher or other responsible staff and find a safe alternative. Ask them not to take the lift from a stranger in either of these cases.
12. Behaving inside a bus: A child’s behaviour inside a bus can affect the bus safety to some extent. So teach them about how to behave well once they get inside the bus.
This includes getting seated once they are in and never standing up once the bus starts moving and in all cases obey the safety monitor. Ask them not to put their hands or head out of the bus and be responsible for the items which they carry such as their bag and books.
13. Being safe at drop off point: Once they get down from the bus, ask them to walk off straight to home without wandering here and there. Also teach them how to cross the road if that is required. Tell them not to run but make a safe and fast walk to home without making conversations with strangers.
14. Maintain a bus travel routine: It would be good if parents support their child to follow a bus travel routine. This includes maintaining a regular time for activities such as getting ready in the morning, reaching the bus stop and reaching back home. This helps students to follow the plan daily and to be comfortable.
Also, avoid changing the pickup and drop off point in between unless it is unavoidable. Otherwise, it can get confusing for your child.
Keep these points in mind when your child uses the school bus transportation services for the first time. This would not only erase unwanted scenarios during your child’s school bus voyage, but also make it a remarkable school time experience.
Survey reports say that school buses are least prone to accidents unlike any other vehicles on the road and that is why school buses are always the first choice of many parents.
In addition to the unparalleled safety measures that are used in a school bus, the journey with their peers to and from school would make their days enjoyable.