Published on September 21, 2020

School Bus Safety During a Pandemic

school bus with stop sign

After what seems like forever, we've finally reached back-to-school-season. Whether your kids are alternating between at home learning and in the classroom learning, or they're fully remote, you're likely making adjustments to your routine, and part of this is transportation. For those with kids returning to the classroom, school bus safety takes on a new meaning with added precautions. Make sure your child knows what to expect and how to stay safe this school season.

Waiting at the Bus Stop

  • Make sure your child is standing 6 feet away from the curb to reduce the risk of running or falling into the street while they wait for the bus. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to be playing. This year in particular, 6 feet is also a safe distance to be standing apart from other children and parents.
  • If your child is waiting outside with other people, in addition to standing 6 feet apart, they should also be wearing a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
  • Remind your child to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off. If they must cross the street, inform the bus driver so they can be sure to let your child know when it's safe to cross. They should always cross in front of the bus and the stop lights should be on to alert oncoming traffic of children crossing.
  • If something gets dropped at the bus stop, your child should never run after the object. It's best to alert the bus driver.

On The Bus

  • With limited capacity this year, school buses will have less passengers. Each district is handling seating differently and you should review the changes prior to your child getting on the bus and let the driver know if you have any questions. Expect that children will be seated far apart to avoid contact with one another.
  • As always, children should remain seated and their backpacks removed from the aisle to avoid the danger of someone falling.
  • While buses are being cleaned according to each school district's standards, if you're concerned about germs, pack disinfectant wipes in your child's bag and have them wipe down the seat before sitting.
  • You should not allow your child on the bus if they have any flu-like symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19. If they have cough, shortness of breath, fever, body aches, or fatigue keep them home from school and call your pediatrician to determine next steps.
  • Children should not get on the bus or go to school if the results of a COVID test are pending. Anyone with a pending COVID test should remain in quarantine until negative results are confirmed or until your physician states otherwise.
  • Encourage the use of hand sanitizer when getting on and off the bus and advise your children to wash their hands as much as possible throughout the day, especially before eating and after using the restroom.

The challenges this school year brings are different than ever before. Talk to your children about the changes and why they are happening so they understand their role in improving safety. If you have any concerns about how to keep your child safe, preparing them for the school year, or their mental health and wellness contact your pediatrician for advice and access to resources that may help.

The pediatricians at Sturdy Memorial Associates are prepared to safely care for your child this school season. For annual visits, immunizations and flu shots, and sick care, please call Pleasant Street Pediatrics, Rehoboth Seekonk Medical Center, South Avenue Pediatrics, Sturdy Memorial Associates at Plainville or Sturdy Pediatric Associates to make an appointment.