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A QUICK COURSE ON BACK-TO-SCHOOL SAFETY

With school about to reopen, it's important for parents and children to go over safety tips together, says Joan Harms, coordinator of People Inc.'s Western New York Safe Kids Coalition.

Here are some school bus safety guidelines:

Waiting for the bus: Arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives. Stay out of the street and avoid horseplay. Always wait for parents on the same side of the street as the school bus loading/unloading zone. Cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus.

On the bus: Remain seated at all times and keep aisles clear. Do not throw objects. Do not shout or distract the driver. Keep heads and arms inside the bus at all times.

Boarding and leaving the bus: Walk in a single-file line. Use the handrail to avoid falls. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before exiting. Exit from the front of the bus. Be aware of the driver's blind spot (10 feet in from the bus) when walking away from the bus.

Also, parents should remove loose drawstrings or ties on children's jackets and sweat shirts and replace with Velcro, snaps or buttons. Loose drawstrings or book bags can snag on the bus handrails.