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Life Lessons

Teach your children about electrical safety at the bus stop

The school bus stop is a place where friendships can be forged for life. But as school years start and kids again board school buses, Indiana Electric Cooperatives warns children and their parents about potential life-threatening hazards.

Distracted drivers who don’t see or ignore the stopped school bus lights are something children all need to watch for as they stand on the curb or side of the road or cross the road to board. But there are electrical hazards, too, children should be taught to look for.

“A lot can happen in the few minutes children are waiting for the bus,” said John Gasstrom, CEO at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “It’s our duty as parents, grandparents or guardians to teach them of the dangers around them.”

Keep these situations in mind when talking to your children about school bus and bus stop safety:

  • Warn your child to not climb up trees and utility poles or guy wires that might put them dangerously close to overhead power lines or expose them to undetected damaged or compromised equipment.

  • Warn your child to stay away from pad-mount transformers (the big, usually green boxes) or other electrical equipment in your neighborhood. Children might view these as perfect for climbing and playing on or lying on while waiting for the bus.

  • Do some homework yourself: Before the school year starts, find out exactly where the stop will be. Check it out yourself for blind spots and dangers curious kids might get into while waiting in the morning.

  • If the school bus is ever in an accident and ends up in a ditch, the bus may have hit a utility pole. In that case, power lines may have dropped and be touching the bus. Teach your child to assume any fallen lines are still energized and dangerous. Let your child know if he or she is OK after an accident, remain on the bus as the driver calls 911, and wait until a first responder or the driver says it’s OK to exit the bus.

  • In an emergency, your child may need to exit the bus immediately. Show your child how to jump clear from the bus with both feet together, avoiding contact with the bus and the ground at the same time. Then, he or she should shuffle away with tiny steps, keeping both feet together and on the ground at all times. Practice this exiting your own car.

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