Good parents want to keep their kids safe. As an educator, keeping children safe and providing for a healthy and optimal environment where they could thrive was always my number-one priority while working in schools and childcare centers.
Providing for children’s safety while they were swimming in the pool, playing on the playground, riding their bicycle, or even riding the yellow school bus was paramount.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 0–19. And among those types, death related to transportation injuries tops the leaderboard.
Adults in charge of children’s supervision should always be on the alert. That is because children at different ages and stages of development all interact with their peers and explore the world around them. And sometimes while playing, kids don’t realize the dangers they might be vulnerable to.
The month of May offered a series of initiatives to bring awareness about safety. It was also when many schools got into full gear for the end-of-school season and put on the final touches for summer camps.
During the summertime, children everywhere, including in private schools, are in and out of the yellow bus heading to different camp destinations or field trips.
But how safe are children riding the school bus?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children. Not only that, but children who ride the yellow bus are safer than riding in their parents’ car, a fact reinforced by the National Safety Council.
The way the school buses are designed—large, heavy, with compartmentalized seats—makes the impact feel from a crash different than other means of transportation, and therefore safer, and more likely to avoid injuries.
Smaller school buses weighing up to 10,000 pounds are required to have lap and shoulder belts for extra safety.
As an added precaution in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council started supporting the use of lap and shoulder belts in buses for school-aged children.
Even though this safety measure has been available since 2002, only six States—New Jersey, New York, California, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas—require their use as of today.
How to make the ride safe and fun
Having worked with children for such a long time, and participated in various field trips, I can’t forget the giggles and the smiles on their faces when riding the school bus. The younger the kiddo, the greater the enjoyment.
Also, I couldn’t stop thinking about the safety talk.
If you work with children, you know that the best approach for dealing with the kiddos—especially about a topic such as safety, which can branch out in different directions—is to talk to them in an easy and entertaining way.
That is Giggly Bear’s job. And Giggly Bear does his job well. The funny and sweet bear teaches young kids valuable lessons about riding the school bus.
Giggly Bear’s Fun Trip in the Yellow Bus is a rhyme about safety geared toward children 2–6 years old.
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