When your kids are a little older, they might begin taking public transportation by themselves. It’s always a good idea to accompany them as long as possible, however. Whether your children are alone or with you, you must teach them very important public transportation safety tips. Here are the things every child who takes the bus, subway, or train should know.
If your child is walking to the bus stop, make sure they remember crucial safety tips about the road. They must look both ways twice before crossing the street and use the crosswalk, and they must never run, especially between parked cars. They should be aware of bus blind spots, know how to stay in view of the driver, and know not to cross the street in front of the bus.
Your child should know exactly what stop they’re getting on and off at, the name or number of the transportation and stops, and how much the ride will cost. Go to the stops with your child so they look familiar to them, and make sure the stops they use are well-lit and busy. Children should have exact change to get on the bus or train so they can avoid showing any extra cash.
At the Stop
While waiting at the stop, your child should remain aware of their surroundings by not reading or listening to music. They should wait in the exact location of the stop, and they should stand back at least 10 feet on the curb or platform (which is about five giant steps). Make sure they know now to wait in the road, and caution them about being near the train tracks or playing near the edge of the platform.
On the Bus or Train
While on the transportation, your child should pick a seat that’s close to the driver or conductor. They should sit behind them by a couple rows, so that they are close, but not too close, to the entrance. Again, they must remain aware of their surroundings by not getting engrossed in a book or putting in headphones. They should remain seated at all times. If they must stand in a crowded car, they should hold onto a hand strap at all times and not stand too close to the door.
You never know who will be riding public transportation with your children, so remind them about important stranger safety tips. They should never talk to strangers, and they should never give out personal information or go with anyone anywhere for any reason.
A very scary thing for any child is getting lost. They may get off at the wrong stop or miss the right one. If lost, they should ask the driver of the next train or bus to arrive for help. Or, they should call home or seek out a police officer. They should not ask other people for help, but if there is no one else around, they should get help from a woman who is with her children.
Daniel Smith is passionate about safety issues associated with children and young adults.
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