The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued the following tips for parents to help ensure student safety:

• Have your children put everything they carry in a backpack or school bag so they won’t drop things along the way.

• Have them wear bright, contrasting colors so they will be more easily seen by drivers.

• Make sure they leave home on time so they can walk to the bus stop and be ready when the bus arrives. Running can be dangerous.

• Walk your young child to the bus stop, and have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.

• Practice good pedestrian behavior: Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the street, walk single file, face traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as you can.

• Stop and look left, right and then left again if you must cross the street. Do the same thing at driveways and alleys.

• Don´t let your child play running games or push and shove at the bus stop. It is dangerous.

• Make sure your child stands at least 10 feet (five giant steps) from the road while waiting for the bus. The child will then be out of the way of traffic.

• If children drop something, they should never pick it up. Instead, they should tell the driver and follow the driver’s instructions. If they bend over to pick up a dropped object, they might not be seen by the driver and could be hurt if the driver pulls away from the stop.

• Remind children to look to the right before they step off the bus. Drivers in a hurry sometimes try to pass buses on the right.

• Teach your children to secure loose drawstrings and other objects that may get caught in the handrail or door of the bus as they are exiting.

• Give your child a note or follow your school’s procedures if you would like your child to get off at a stop other than the one they are assigned.

• If you meet your child at the bus stop after school, wait on the side where the child will be dropped off, not across the street. Children can be so excited at seeing you after school that they dash across the street and forget the safety rules.

• Children should talk quietly on the bus, be courteous to the driver and follow the driver’s instructions.

• Children should stay seated during the entire bus ride and keep the aisles clear.

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