Heading back to school can be an exciting time of year for students and parents. If your kids will be riding the bus to school, you want to know that they’ll be safe during the trip. Be sure to talk with them about school bus safety before they head out for the first day of school. Here are a few things to mention to them.

Safety on the Bus

The good news is that school buses are significantly safer than cars for the children riding in them. Your child is about 70 times safer when riding a bus to school rather than traveling by car. The number one way to keep kids safe while the bus is in motion is to keep them seated. Instructing kids to park their pockets on the school bus seats is a fun, playful way to get that message across.

Safety at the Bus Stop

Kids, especially very young ones, are more likely to be injured at the bus stop than while riding the bus. Always have an adult at the bus stop to supervise young children. Tell kids of all ages to arrive at the bus stop early and to stand at least three giant steps away from the curb while waiting. This helps the bus driver to be able to see the kids easily and prevents a child from accidentally walking or falling in front of a moving vehicle.

Safety Boarding and Leaving the Bus

Kids should stay far back from the curb until the bus has come to a complete stop and the driver has opened the door for them to board. If a child drops something near the bus, he or she should tell the bus driver and wait for permission before bending down to pick up the item. When children get off the bus, they should move away from the curb and stay where the driver can see them.

Kids who need to cross the street after getting off the bus should move at least five giant steps ahead of the bus and wait for the bus driver to let them know that it is safe before beginning to cross. They should also know to look for cars while crossing. Although the bus driver has checked for safety, not all car drivers obey bus safety warning lights and signs. More people looking out for traffic keeps all of the kids safer.

Riding the bus to school is a safe option for kids, and can be lots of fun. Teach your kids a few key safety rules and relax knowing that they’re in good hands.