PA child ride bus to school?

Posted on: Fri, 06/13/2003 - 6:29am
tando's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

5yr old DS with PA will start school in the fall. Would really like to ride the bus with his friends.

Do/did you or your children ride the bus to school? What policies/procedures were in place to keep you/him/her safe? Who had the Epi? What about food on the bus? Teasing?

Thanks!

Posted on: Fri, 06/13/2003 - 6:47am
buffalobeth's picture
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Joined: 03/18/2002 - 09:00

Hi! My DD started Kindergarten last fall, and she rides the bus. She is no reactive to airborne particles, FYI. The district has a no eating policy, and I instructed her to get up and move in the event someone is eating - no ifs, ands or buts; even if she thinks it's a safe food. We're finishing our year here, and she's had a successful, safe, and yes, fun, bus riding experience.
The only problem was once she learned her phonics she came home reciting "I love sex" after reading it on the bus seats.

Posted on: Fri, 06/13/2003 - 7:32am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Yes, Ryan rode on the bus this past Kindergarten year. He has the half-day AM schedule.
Our 504 stated he had to sit in the first seat opposite the bus driver so he was in their full view when stopping/starting the bus. On the way to school, he sat with his sister (3rd grade) in the front seat. On the way home, again, he sat in the front seat with one of his friends. He always carries his epi under his clothes in his epibelt. I don't believe any other kids on the bus know he has one, with the exception of the ones in his class that may know.
The bus drivers have a note with his picture and emergency instructions on what to do--calling 911, bus compound, etc. The drivers have been trained on how to use the epipen. Although technically, they have the right to refuse administering the epipen, the school superintendent assured me that all personnel are instructed to save the life of a child, should the need arise (re: Good Samaritan law).
However, he doesn't ride the bus if there is a substitute bus driver. In the morning, I'm with him at the bus stop so he just doesn't get on and I drive him in. If there is a sub driver on the route home, he goes to the main office with his teacher, the secretary calls me to pick him up, and he stays with the secretaries until I get there.
As for teasing, there hasn't been any. Most kids on the bus do not know of his PA. As for eating, there shouldn't be any. That's in our 504, but is also a bus driver rule.
[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited June 13, 2003).]

Posted on: Sat, 06/14/2003 - 2:45pm
tgab's picture
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Joined: 06/24/2000 - 09:00

I just wanted to add that when I was a kid, we would always sneak candy on the bus and eat it. Yes, there was a no eating rule. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Just something to think about when the kids get a bit older and are sitting towards the back of the bus. If the bus has tall seats and you scootch down, the driver can't see what you are doing.
My dd wants to ride the bus so bad. Lucky for us we live 2 blocks from the school so it isn't an option.

Posted on: Sun, 06/15/2003 - 9:57am
StaceyK's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

DD won't be riding the bus to, school. She is only 3 now though. I had made that decision BEFORE we found out about the PA, but for other reasons.

Posted on: Mon, 06/16/2003 - 12:41am
Jenna's picture
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Joined: 07/09/2000 - 09:00

I think this is an individual decision made by each parent depending on the circumstances but after trying it, we have chosen not to ride the bus anymore. We had an adult ride the bus with him at the beginning of the school year, had him in the front seat, etc. but our aid was finding that kids constantly had food on the bus. If they were still hungry or didn't have time to eat breakfast, they would open up their lunches and start eating their lunch. Days after parties at school the buses were filled with candy they had from the classrooms. Yes, we did have a NO FOOD policy on the bus. The bus driver tried to enforce it but with him facing the front and trying to focus on his driving, it was very easy to sneak food. The aid was the one who ended up enforcing it because she was the one who would see it. If a food policy is strictly enforced it eventually comes back to the child- especially if it is something that hasn't been enforced in the past or if the other bus drivers for the other buses aren't enforcing it. We have just decided to let this go and drive him ourselves. We have a special time to talk about what is going on that day, practice a couple spelling words, etc. He has come to think that it is his special time. Yes, there have been times when it has been an inconvenience for us but the peace of mind that it brings us knowing that he is at school safely without any undue risks or teasing is worth it to us. I know all situations are different and it may work for you. I would just advise that you check it out, be sure you're comfortable with it, and keep tabs on things throughout the school year to make sure that your recommendations are being followed.

Posted on: Mon, 06/16/2003 - 3:06am
tando's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm most concerned about the Epi-pen. Bus drivers in our district don't carry them -- the procedure is to radio for 911 and return to the school. Even if DS was given en exception to carry one, he's too young to inject himself and getting the exception might leave an opening to take responsibility away from the adults.
Buffalobeth -- how has this worked for you?
Ryan's mom -- you mentioned you're son carries his own epipen and the driver would administer it. Was this policy created for your situation or was it already in place?
T.

Posted on: Mon, 06/16/2003 - 8:59pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

To clarify why Ryan sits in the front. Food eating does occur when it should not. That is a big reason why he sits in the front, along with the driver being able to monitor if he's conscious or unconscious.
Also, a new medical form came home from school about a month ago to plan for next year. Our school has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs, however, it was specifically stated that students could carry epipens and inhalers on their bodies. That is the first time I ever saw such wording on one of our district documents. Prior to this, the policy was dependent on the student. Some students were not allowed for immaturity reasons as they could cause harm to others with an epipen. They examined each situation on a case-by-case basis.
Tando, as far a "policy" being put in place, it was more of a common sense thing. I directly asked the superintendent about this situation and the Good Samaritan law. He said (almost verbatim), "Our policy is to do anything we can to save the life of the child. We instruct our personnel to take whatever steps necessary to protect the lives of our students should the need arise." He obviously can't force personnel to administer the epi since they have the legal right to refuse. I can honestly say, however, they have been trained on epi usage, are wonderful drivers, and I put my trust in them everyday to do the right thing. Note, that our bus drivers are employed by the district, not by an outside transportation business. I believe this makes a world of difference and hope our district does not subcontract in the future.
As far as a child being too young to inject, our school nurse said (two weeks ago) that a person would be amazed at what these young kids can do. Although we as parents feel they might be to young to self-inject, she said many kids really come through in medical emergencies. It can be surprising.

Posted on: Tue, 06/17/2003 - 2:19am
buffalobeth's picture
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Joined: 03/18/2002 - 09:00

We've had a great year, and great experience on the bus. Also there are NINE kids in her Kindergarten year who have PA, so the other kids are really aware, as well. Her friends (the kids she sits with, anyway) are all aware of her PA. This doesn't guarantee that they'll abstain from eating peanuts on the bus, I know, but we've had absolutely no problems. Also keep in mind she isn't reactive to airborne allergens. I think an individual choice, and we've been happy with ours. She really loves riding the bus with all the kids.

Posted on: Tue, 06/17/2003 - 3:54am
tando's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It's nice to be able to get so many points of view.
T.

Posted on: Tue, 06/17/2003 - 7:03am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

What a great topic. Certainly something that i have dealt with over many years. Chris is 17 and had his first bus reaction this year. The children are not alloud to eat on the bus but this year him being older alot of kids were getting on eating and drinking their breakfast.
As younger kids follow the no eating on the bus rules older kids obviously are let to do a bit more than smaller ones. I am not angry because the issue was taken care of at the time very nicely.
I just want you to know that we had great luck. Speak to everyone at the bus garage and the drivers. Don't assume anyone knows from the other person. Also cover with them about if there is a sub bus driver that he/she needs to be well aware of no eating on the bus and why the rule is so important. Good luck claire

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