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Preschool Passenger Safety Tips

A successful preschool experience requires children to be independent and able to follow instructions. They need to be able to stay focused on a task and be able to play alone or with other kids. They also need to be potty trained and able to handle basic daily needs like washing hands and eating without assistance. If your child is unable to do these things, it’s best to wait before enrolling them in preschool.

Preschoolers are fascinated by school buses and tend to get excited at the sight of their favorite vehicle pulling up to the curb. It’s important that you teach them the right way to board and exit a bus to keep everyone safe. For example, kids should always enter the bus in front so that the driver can see them and they can’t accidentally walk in front of the bus. They should also be taught to stand at least ten feet — five giant steps — away from the curb and to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver¬† says it’s okay to get on or off.

Once onboard, preschoolers should sit quietly and follow directions given by the bus driver. They should not distract the bus driver or talk to other passengers in order to prevent an accident. Kids should also be instructed not to lean over the seatbacks and to avoid touching any part of the bus that is hot, which could cause injuries. Finally, if the bus has seatbelts, kids should buckle them before stepping onto the bus and leave them on until they reach their destination.

Parents should also help prepare their child for the transition to preschool by encouraging good behavior and modeling appropriate classroom behaviors. They should encourage their child to be respectful and follow directions in the classroom, in the cafeteria and on the playground. Moreover, they should make sure their child is well-behaved during the ride to and from school and that they’re not causing a distraction to other students or adults onboard the bus.

Many Head Start programs use school buses for the transportation of preschoolers. Vits says these buses are often older than most and may not have the same safety controls as newer vehicles. Nevertheless, he adds that these vehicles are still safer than most private vehicles and that they should be examined regularly for damage and wear.

Educators can learn more about school bus passenger safety by participating in one of the many trainings offered nationwide. These free general education courses provide basic information about child passenger safety. More intensive enrichment trainings can be completed for a fee and offer more in-depth information on specific topics such as installing car seats. These courses are available both online and in person.

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