With the COVID-19 pandemic slowly winding down as more of the nation becomes inoculated against the virus, life is showing signs of returning to normal…or, at least, what can come to be known as the “new normal,” as precautions still need to be taken to prevent spreading the disease.
But one of the things that is happening this year that is providing a sliver of hope is that schools are in the process of returning to in-person learning in the classroom, as opposed to remote classes via video chat software.
And while this is a positive event for the mental well-being of school-age children across the nation, it does provide a sobering reminder that with schools returning to normal, tried-and-true back-to-school safety tips are needed in order to keep your little ones safe and secure when they are away from your watchful eye and in the care of their local school district.
School Bus Safety for Drivers
There are fewer situations where your child can be placed into a potentially hazardous situation than when they are in the process of entering or exiting a school bus, and while kids are often given stringent instruction on the many rules that go along with school bus safety, not every child adheres to them at all times.
Therefore, as a motorist who either may find themselves driving near a school bus or a parent who may be driving their children to school, it is nonetheless vital that you remain aware of your vehicle’s surroundings at all times and exercise extreme caution whenever a school bus is in your vicinity.
When driving near a school bus – especially one that may be stopped and in the process of loading or unloading children – it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Cautiously approach a school bus when its lights are flashing yellow
- Drive with the highest degree of care possible when you notice children walking on the street or around school buses
- If a school bus’s lights are flashing, kids are likely in a hurry to get on the bus or home from school and in their hurry might forget safety rules
School Bus Safety for Students
In addition, children should also be well-versed in safety rules that apply to either entering the school bus at the start of the day, or exiting the bus when heading home, as every little bit helps when it comes to making sure accidents don’t occur. These important student safety tips include:
- Arrive at the school bus stop several minutes early to reduce reasons for rushing
- Look to your left and right while crossing the road
- Make sure that the school bus has come to a complete stop before getting on or off
- Make sure to only walk on sidewalks
- Never accept a ride from a stranger you meet near the school bus stop
- Only cross the street in designated areas
- Only face the traffic while walking on streets that are not equipped with sidewalks
- Stay away from the road while waiting for the bus
- Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road to increase visibility
- Take Steps to Reduce COVID-19 Exposure
COVID-19 Safety for Students
And, of course, there’s the invisible – but all-to-real – threat still presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and while all school districts have safety measures in place to ensure the well-being of both students and staff, it’s important for your children to adhere to these tips to help make sure they come home every day just as healthy as when they left in the morning. These tips include:
- Avoid shaking hands with others
- Consider transporting your children to school through more private methods than the bus
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Keep a six-foot distance from other children on the bus whenever possible
- Make sure your child monitors his or her health more closely than usual for any warning signs of COVID-19
- Wash your hands routinely with both soap and water
- Wear a face covering