67 answers

School Field Trip

My 2nd grader wants to go on a field trip with his class tomorrow. But the class is taking a school bus to get to the destination. Before I even had kids I swore they would never go on a school bus. I don't believe they are safe. I have clearance from the principal to drive my son to the destination. But he wants to ride the bus and says if he can't he would rather not go. I am fine with him not going but only if he really doesn't want to, not just becuz of the bus/car thing. There will be lots of other field trips this year and this will come up over and over. Advice for an over protective mommy??

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your advice. Most of it was the same: That I should send him on the bus and go along. What I had neglected to mention in the post is that there was no way I would NOT accompany him and also that I have zero interest in putting myself on a bus. If it's not safe for him it is not safe for me. Thing is, I am a single mom, so if something were to happen to him and to me, that leaves my 5-year-old without a family. Yes, of course I know the dangers of everyday life. But I do think that my car is safer than the bus for 2 main reasons: 1. My kids have state-of-the-art highly expensive car seats in my car. 2. I am driving. So if something does happen I have only myself to blame. One kind woman responded, she is a bus driver herself: She states that the center of gravity is higher on the bus and therefore the bus is far less likely to topple over. That is the exact opposite of ture, unfortunately. The higher center of gravity is WHY the bus is more likely to tip.
That said, I decided to just drive him this time and check out the bus before we left. My mom indicated interest in accompanying him on the bus in the future (tho I will have to decide next month). We have 6 field trips this year to get thru.
So what did we do? The teacher described the field trip, to a fire safety place, in school yesterday and my son came home terrified and said he didn't want to go. So I think we will continue to pick and choose and decide on individual basis. I truly appreciate all the advice and will certainly be back for more!
For now, both kids slept in and are watching Curious George! Have a great day!

Featured Answers

I'm a teacher and we take field trips all the time. I agree with the other posters...let him take the bus. He will be just fine. Kids are cruel and you don't weant him to get teased throughout life for being a "mamas boy".

1 mom found this helpful

Hate to say this but you are going to have to let go a bit, taking a bus on a field trip is a great way to start learning to be independent. He will also be singled out because he is the only one not taking the bus because of a fear that YOU have.

Can you be the parent helper and ride the bus with the class? I feel the same way as you. I have a first grader and have insisted that me or one of my closest friends (and fellow nervous Mom) be the parent helper for every field trip. I really wish they would do away with the practice, but until they do, maybe try my solution.
Good Luck.

More Answers

M.,
I used to drive a school bus and believe it or not. A school bus is safer for your child to be on them then your own car! And if you are going on this trip with him then you will be on the bus with him. If this is his first time on the bus he will have a blast with all of his friends.Just let me bring up one question. Do you stop at every railroad crossing before going over it and open up your car door or window to listen for a train before you cross it? Do you follow the speed limit at all times? Bus Divers go thru more training then most people know that they do and if it wasnt for my back I would still be driving that bus. I so miss being with the children. I takes a special person to drive a bus with 70+ children. Believe me he will be safe. Good Luck with your choice. I know it is hard because he is your child, but believe me he will be safe. Look it up on the internet on how safe riding on a school bus is. You will be suprised.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., I am unsure you have a faith, but this is one you need to put in God's hands. Just like sending your kid to school everyday, you need to pray that HE keeps him safe. My kids love the bus too. That is their social time. You need to worry about them more when they get older...and I am not talking about bus accidents. I have heard horror stories of what kids have tried to get away with. I would be more concerned about the supervision the kids are getting than the bus driver. Why not go on the bus yourself and be the room mom.

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I am the mother of a 20 year old with Down Syndrome. The bus issue comes up most of the time when, out of convienince, My husband and I decide that taking him home from an event we have gone to to cheer him on for Special Olympics, would be easier than riding home without him, and going back to the school to pick him up when the bus drops him off there. Your son simply wants to be one of the guys. He wants to be with his peers. The kids MAY ( NOT for sure) be making fun of the fact his "mommy" has to drive him every where. If this hasn't come up yet, it will.( talk to your son and ask him)
My husband and I most often let him ride with his friends, and only drive him when we are pushed for time now. Mike appeciates this...and says so.
Mike has been taking the bus ( state law in my case) since he was 3 years old. In all this time..there was one incident in which a teenage driver bumped the bus. No one was hurt. In the same span of time, I have been rear ended, sideswiped, and backed into 7 or 8 times. I have NOT ( I am proud to say) caused one accident. I was hurt 3 times.. Fortunatly Mike was not. There are many more Auto accidents than bus accidents.
Ask to check out the bus driver's driving record if you feel the need. But let your kid..be a kid. Love him like there's no tomorrow. Guide him to be a strong, honest, young man. But let him be a kid with friends and peers.
Good luck..and give the kids an extra hug.

1 mom found this helpful

It would really be best if you let your son take the bus. Not doing so is eventually going to make him feel "left out" and different from the rest of the class, not to mention that he will miss out on great life experiences. I was a teacher for 7 years prior to having my daughter, and I did have a parent once who did not let their child go on field trips because of the belief that buses aren't safe. First of all, parents need to realize that a field trip is part of the curriculum, not just an optional "fun day" off from the classroom. Secondly, school buses ARE safe. There is no way that they would be allowed to transport millions of kids to and from schools every day if they weren't. If it will ease your fears, do some research on school bus safety. I know the feeling of wanting to protect your child 24/7, but the bottom line is, you have to let go a little in order to create a happy, self-confident, well-adjusted child. You have a much greater chance of damaging your son's emotional and social development by doing things like not letting him take a bus to a field trip than you do of something happening to him while on the bus. Best of luck and remember... him riding the school bus is your fear, not his.

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I'm a teacher and we take field trips all the time. I agree with the other posters...let him take the bus. He will be just fine. Kids are cruel and you don't weant him to get teased throughout life for being a "mamas boy".

1 mom found this helpful

This is what I just read...
"According to recent official school bus accident statistics, 1,450 people have been killed in school bus related accidents since 1990. Of these fatal accident victims, 67 percent were the occupants of other vehicles involved in the school bus accident, 25 percent were pedestrians or bicyclists, and nine percent were passengers in school bus-type vehicles.
These school bus accident statistics translate into: Approximately 27 school aged children die in school bus accidents every year. Seven of these are passengers in a school bus and twenty are pedestrians. Of these twenty pedestrians, fourteen are killed by school buses and the other six are killed by other vehicles involved in a school bus accident. More than one half of all pedestrian fatalities involve a child between the ages of five and seven."

So on average, 7 children per year die from being a passenger on a school bus. Compare that to how many children die per year from being a passenger in a car with expensive car seats and a careful parent driving them. It doesn't compare. Car accidents happen because of other drivers, not just you. When a bus accident happens because of another driver, the children in the bus are fine..the children in the car are not. Your fears are completely unsound and seem to be rubbing off on your child. I find it hard to imagine a 7 year old boy that would be terrified of fire trucks and firemen. It seems that he has picked up your fears and wants to make you happy, or has already taken them as his own.
I know your field trip is over, but reconsider for the next one. Your child is missing out and will most definitely be made fun of throughout the years if you continue this.

1 mom found this helpful

Let the kid go on the bus. He'll be fine. I have a friend that is a school bus driver and let me tell you--They go through such extensive training and testing that if they are not qualified or pass ALL the tests, they are not going to get the CDL.

Get on the bus with your kid and have a good time

I know you had tons of resoponses and read your addition to your initial ?. Just remember that you inflict YOUR insercurities on your children. Do you want them to be 20 and afraid to do something and so in turn they run to you and never have a life. I know it seems like quite a leap, but it starts with something as small as riding the bus. I rode one everday in school and then as a teacher on all the field trips my kids went on. They are safe and fun for all! Please sit back and see what your fears are doing to your kids. I know it is not easy, but anytinng could happen at anytime even when you are in control.

I don't understand why you think it is safer in your car than in a bus. Buses are huge and your child would be more protected in a bus when in an accident than in a car.

Hey M.,

Ideas:
Can you chaperone the trip?
See if the bus will have seat belts.
Make sure your kid rides in front and near the teacher.
Make sure the school has had a bus safety drill.

S

M.,

First of all, my kids ride the school bus, and I rode the bus, and my parents and all their siblings rode the bus to school.

A child is 8x's safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents. The NHTSA (www.nhtsa.dot.gov) has some good statistics, as well as www.parentzone.babyzone.com. In 2001-2001 24 million kids rode the school bus with only 4 fatalities. School buses have a fatality rate of .2 per 100 million miles traveled vs. 1.5 for the same distance traveled in cars. I'm over protective too, but it's okay to do research about something that makes you nervous/afraid and it's o.k. to change your mind. Personally with statistics like this, I'd rather the bus took my kids everywhere.

School buses are now equipped with seat belts and the seat backs are high and padded to protect children. Bus drivers are trained and licensed to transport children.

Ask principal about how they choose their bus service and their safety record.

Let him go. He wants to go on the bus and be with his friends. A car is just as unsafe as a bus. Remember, the car is smaller. Anyway, it is a way to let him bond with the other kids. But it is up to you because you are the mom.

Let your child go. What are you teaching your child about functioning in the world around him by putting your fears on him and making him the odd person out? Every day all day he will incounter numerous things that have the potential to harm him, it is not fair or right to exclude him from being a participating member of his class because of your fears. I'm sorry if that seems blunt or harsh, but you need to get over it and let him go. I will pray for you to be able to have peace with this and for him to have a safe field trip tomorrow!

Can you be the parent helper and ride the bus with the class? I feel the same way as you. I have a first grader and have insisted that me or one of my closest friends (and fellow nervous Mom) be the parent helper for every field trip. I really wish they would do away with the practice, but until they do, maybe try my solution.
Good Luck.

might want to look into this at your school, but my kids school district recently had seat belts installed in every bus.

I can appreciate your fear, but it is just that,... your fear. At some point, we (parents) need to recognize what fears of ours are valid and which ones have no real basis. Have you considered volunteering as a chaperone so that you can ride the bus with him? it's the beginning of his school years, and if he develops a fear of buses now, he's going to have a lot of anxiety in the coming years. Every mode of transportation has some risk, but it's no reason to stay home.

Good luck. my kids are begging me to go trick-or-treating with their friends this year, and i am having a hard time with that too... so i can relate :)

M.,
plenty of kids ride buses with no problems. you need to relax. you cannot drive your kids everywhere and be with them all of the time. Plus, your child will be the brunt of many comments in the years to come if you persist.

Honestly, let him go. Accidents happen everywhere, you can't control them all, even if you are the driver of your own car.

M.,

I have 3 children and the oldest is 11. The kids have a blast being able to take part in the field trip with the other children. I know they don't have seat belts in them and aren't the safest, but both my school age children love going on the field trips.

Have you thought about having your son ride and then you meet him there? That way he can take part with everyone else and then you can see for yourself that he is safe and sound? Just a suggestion.

Also, pray before he leaves and then praise God when he arrives. He will be in good hands! Let us know how it works out for you and him.

I am a SAHM mother of 3 (ages 11 yr old boy, 7 yr. old girl and 3 yr. old boy)

Volunteer to be a chaperone for the class and ride the bus with him. I have to say that I have struggled with the same issue. My kids are in 5th grade and in 2nd grade. It's not so much the bus ride but where they are going on their field trip that scares me. As they get older, your fear will diminish. My 5th grade is pretty sharp and I tell them (without scaring them of course) that if they happen to get seperated from their group to find a worker and tell them they are lost.Make sure he knows your home and cell phone number. I just pray alot and praise God when they arrive home safely. It's a process......of letting go.

I have children in 7th and 11th grade and have riden a bus every school day scine they started school. No accidents of any kind since the school district started bussing students 60 years ago. I myself as a child road the bus to school no accidents within that school district in the 50 years it has bee bussing students. I have volunteered aa a parent chaperone every year for their field trips which means I get to ride on the bus with them and have enjoyed my self no accidents. Let him ride the bus with his fiends to prove to yourself that he will be ok. There is a lot higher probability of you getting into an accident when you drive your vehicle than your son's bus getting into an accident. See if there is space for you to go on the bus with your son tomorrow. If not follow along in your vehicle, then volunteer to be a chaparone on his next field trips. I understand your concern, but you need to let him go for your sanity so you can see that he will be ok. He will be safer on the bus than if you sent him with afriend hin thier family vehicle. There are and will be more important things to fight about then whethter he should ride the bus because of your concerns. Let him go so you can see that he will be OK for your sake.

Hi M.!

I would let him go on the bus! I know it can be scary to let go of our kids, but it has to be done! Good luck and relax!

Dear M., I understand your feelings 100%. I feel pretty much the same. What I usually do when my kids have a Field trip is go with on the bus. They usually need parents to help anyway, and truthfully all the trips I have been on, the bus drivers are very careful drivers. Good Luck, hope this helped a little.

Hi M.! I have to agree with everyone else! I am a mom of 3 and all my kids have rode the bus to fieldtrips and my youngest is 5 and has a seizure disorder and Autism and SID! He has been going to a special school since right when he turned 3 and has always taken the bus to and from school and went on many fieldtrips and it was always great! I went on most of the fieldtrips too! I would let him go! I believe it will be really good for him and maybe you can go along so you will feel more comfortable! I hope all these responses help to ease your mind some! Let us know what you decide and if he does go how it went!
S. Bailey CLD
Aurora
www.tendermomentsdoula.com

M.,

I remember my kids going on field trips; sometimes I would drive them -myself or I would ride on the bus with them. Have you consider riding with your child on the bus? Good luck.

I can't tell you not to feel the way you feel. I would just say...think of the thousands of buses that are out there every morning, taking thousands of kids to school...and then think of the the number of accidents with those school buses. The percentage is pretty small.

I wouldn't suggest putting your fears on your child because then he/she will grow up with some of the same phobias, etc.

AND, the bus ride is half the fun of the trip for kids. That's my thought...however again, I haven't stood in your shoes and haven't seen the same things you have seen...so maybe someone in your family was hurt in a bus accident or something.

Good luck. Take it to prayer - you'll get the "right next step"!

J.

Cut the strings a little mom and let him be like the other kids or he'll take it out on you sooner or later. Try not to put your fears on the child. He needs to be like the other kids or they will tease him and make his life miserable. It's not easy to be a mommy.

Hi M.! I'm speaking from the perspective of a mom but also a teacher. These days, school buses are safer than ever and schools are taking bus safety very seriously - higher expectations about behavior on the bus as well as drills and additional safety features. The school buses we have taken on fieldtrips have seatbelts for each passenger and children are required to buckle up. (Honestly, if I had to choose, I would MUCH rather get into an accident in a huge tank of a bus than my car!) Talk to your child's teacher about your concerns and maybe he/she can explain their safety policy and put some of your fears to rest. With all of that said, all moms need to do what they feel is best so the choice is yours. Hope this helps!

Hi M.,

I understand wanting to protect your child but please don't be over protective. I grew up on a school bus and I have 5 children and they are school bus kids also. (except the youngest who is only 1) Riding the school bus can be a fun time for kids as they grow. Most bus drivers I've known take good care in trying to keep everyone safe. If you have concerns with the driver then maybe you should check in with the school about the driver. I like the scene in the "Finding Nemo" movie where Dori says something like, "you can't ever let anything happen to them or nothing will ever happen" It is good to protect your children but show them the way, trust them, PRAY and you might be surprised how much fun things can be. Also, maybe you could be a chaperon. Accidents happen in all kinds of ways. Even in your own car. Pray, then sit back and tell yourself things will be fine and your child will have a great day with his friends. You'll love that smiling face when he comes home. Good Luck,
J. J.

Do not make your child the one everyone talks about and makes fun of. Growing up is difficult enough without us parents adding to it. Do not make your fears your child's fears.
If you are uncomfortable than maybe you should ride the bus with your son and chaperone his field trip. That way you can be with him. It might even help you get over your fear of the bus!

You asked for our advice and I hope you seriously consider what everyone is telling you.

M.,
I felt the same way you do, and held my son back from going on field trips due to the bus. His school understood the concerns of the parents and now only hires buses with seat belts which was my main concern. The 1st trip we allowed him to attend, I went with and realized that the teachers and the other parents had complete control of the children. The children were buddied up and had to be seated and belted. PRior to the bus leaving 2 teachers walked to every seat to make sure each child was properly secured. My husband and I still take turns going on the field trips to large places such as the one next week to the pumpkin patch, however, the bus doesn't concern me as much as it did. My point is talk with the principal and find out about the bus service and safety precautions they have and sign up to go with to help ease your mind that your son is safe. God Bless!

I think you should let your son take the bus. There are millions of dangers in this world and you aren't going to be able to protect your child from every one of them. Bus drivers are very well trained and in my experience take their jobs very seriously and care tremendously about our children. I know the world is dangerous, be I really think you can go to far in protecting them and teach your child to live in a state of fear. That is not a healthy way to live.

Take a deep breath and let him go. I don't say this lightly because I know how scary it is. I think I've done my daughter more harm than good by being so protective of her and she's only just in 3rd grade now. She has a hard time making decisions without me, is scared of things that I wish she wasn't scared of, won't be spontaneous at all, etc etc. and I *STILL* struggle with wanting to keep her safe and in my protective bubble.
If you can ride along, do that. If not, maybe following the bus would make you feel better (with him ON the bus, not in the car with you.)

Hugs to you as you struggle with these hard decisions we have to make for our "babies"
Manda

I have to agree with the other Moms. Just let him go on the bus if he really wants to. The best option would be for you to chaperone, if possible. My daughter was in preschool last year and went on several field trips. I chaperoned all but one. The teachers were very accommodating-most parents went. Being on the bus at least once though, you get the advantage of seeing how the teachers ensure the children's safety. In my case, I saw the teachers individually check seat belts, despite parental supervision. I saw the teachers divided evenly throughout the bus to make sure the kids remained safe for the entire trip. I saw the teachers do frequent counts before boarding and after both pre and post-trip. It made me much more comfortable with letting her enjoy herself with her friends on the trips.

Hi M.,
I think you should let your son ride on the bus also. Our schools do a very good job of hiring safe drivers who are not distracted by cell phones, radio, GPS, etc. Talk to your son to make sure he understands bus safety and what to do/not do if the bus does not have safety belts and then just take the leap of faith! In this day and age children will use anything to make other children the butt of their jokes even when the parents are doing things to keep them safe and sound. TRUST YOUR SON! After all, most of the time the bus trip is the best part because the children could really care less about where they are going they are most excitied about getting out of the classroom!
Good Luck on your decision!

M.--just to let you know, our school's insurance would not allow parents to drive separately, so your child may be missing out on a lot down the line. You call yourself "overprotective" mom--could it be you feel worried? If you look at statistics, bus rides are far safer than car rides. My big issue with busses is the nasty behavior of older kids who cuss etc in back. That is not an issue on a field trip at least. There is a point where the kids will notice and make fun, too. Good luck with your decision!

My daughter has an 8th grade friend whose parents have NEVER let her go on a field trip or on a bus..... My daughter thinks it's strange but....at what point do you let go and trust others? I've been dealing with buses for 9 years, without incident. In my community, in your defense, I know a lot of the bus drivers and one of my children have had the same daily bus driver for about 3 years and I am comfortable with her abilities. However, because my other child has been in extracurricular activities, she has also had to take a bus to different destinations. Some people would never get in an airplane because they don't deem them to be safe....my husband travels a lot and I would rather have him fly than to have to have him on the road that much more. It's what your comfort level is. At what point do you let go??? I would just assess the field trips, one by one, but, personally, I hope your child doesn't become that 8th grader who has never had the opportunity to travel with her class. You may be that person who has known of a bad bus incident and that is where your fears stem, you may not trust the bus drivers in your area or you may be concerned with the safety of the area that you live in, all of which is valid to take into consideration. If none of that is true, then, you can always be a chaperone and quell your own fears - because that may be what this is more about. On a daily basis, I send my children off, with a prayer that they are safe, wherever they are. I hope your children are safe too. Good luck.

M., I'd really encourage you to work to get over your fears and overprotection. Busses are going to come into your sons' lives; don't let them get singled out by your driving them. They are the ones who will pay for your fears in the long run. I grew up as the only totally blind student in a school for many years, and I can guarantee you it was no fun being different. The same applies, though certainly in a different way, for your sons.
S.

I feel for your boys. It is a bit overprotective and a selfish thing on your part. It is obvious you love them, but not letting your child ride the bus with all his friends is ridiculous, but only my own opinion. He missed out on an opportunity that I'm sure the kids will be talking about for a while. I spent my entire school life on the bus, and without seatbelts, imagine that, and never ONCE in an accident! There was a car who rear-ended a school bus in front of my house growing up, and although the car was totalled, there was barely a scratch on the bus and not one child was injured enough for barely a bandaid, but the car driver took the ambulance. Sorry, but no matter how great and expensive your car seats are, they are not made of a titanium bubble, and you cannot control other drivers on the road. I am glad that my son takes a bus and has seatbelts,is made of steel, not fiberglass, that is elevated above most SUVs and obeys ALL traffic laws or that company will be gone tomorrow. AND he loves talking to his buddies all the way to and from school. You asked for other mommy's opinions and you are getting it. Hopefully you can eventually let down your guard a bit and let the boys live a little, before they get picked on when mommy's not around. Sorry I may have come off as a little rough, but give those boys some space to be themselves, especially the 7 year old! Love 'em without smothering 'em!

Ride the bus with him and go as a parent chaperone OR follow the bus in your car. If buses weren't safe, schools wouldn't use them.

As parents we all have fears about our childerns safety, but we have to allow them room to experience things and learn on thier own. If you hover and make chioces for them they don't learn how to. I also agree with the other Moms kids are mean and any thing that makes someone different is a chance to be singled out. A.

Hi Mom, don't let your fears become your kids. I had lots of phobias but it didn't keep me from letting my son do some of the things i didn't. Let him ride the bus. If he comes home complaining that he was scare then you take it from there. Who knows he may want to grow up to be a plane pilot.

S.

I understand your concern but I also think the risk is too small to keep your son home from every outing to avoid a bus ride. I am sure if you check the statistics busses are fairly safe. Perhaps you should take the first trip with him, speak to the bus driver, learn the safety and traing that they have to go through. Maybe that will easy your fears. Life is worth living and experiencing. Use common sense and normal safety precautions but don't avoid routine experiences because there might be a danger issue. If thats the case he should never ride a bike, go by train, swim ect. One other thought is that you will be transfering your fears to your son and he won't want to try new things.
best of luck
Peggy

If you stop to think about it. If a school bus is hit by another vehicle all or most of the damage is well below the level where a child would be sitting. Have you ever seen the underside of a bus. There are steel beams under that that are as large as one for a house. Also the impact of another vehicle will have far less effect due to the difference in size. The average school bus weighs between 22,000 and 28,000 pounds empty. Your car weighs on average about 3,600 pounds and an SUV about 4,100. What vehicle would you rather be in in a collision? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Visit the sights below to see more safety statistics

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1999/09/02/national/main60...

http://www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org/index.php?page=trust

I'm a former teacher and I totally agree, they are NOT safe. Those flimsy seat belts are so loose they don't even keep the kids in there. Many times, other teachers were not as protective as I was to sit on their butts with the belt tightly around them. I would always have a discussion ON THE BUS about why we need them...but MOST teachers weren't like me. I also worked at a private school in the city and felt very protective since I know all the parents felt like you do. I don't know what the answer is because I sort of feel the same way. Many times I would ask the driver to slow down too. I don't trust them. I wish I could give you advice, but I can't. I'm interested to see what other say. Okay, I just read other responses. Here are some options. Ride on the bus with your child. Stop and talk to the driver and tell him that you are very concerned to put your mind at ease. Or l like the idea of telling the driver that you are concerned, but that you child really wanted to ride the bus so you are willing to drive behind the bus to feel safer (he'll be on his best behavior knowing you're watching) Good Luck. m

I am a Early Childhood Educator. I have taught for the past nine years, and I have been on plenty of school trips. I must admit that I do not allow my Kindergartener or Preschool age daughters to take the school bus daily as a means of arrival and depature (and it's an option given by the school district.) I said all that to say I understand your concerns for safety,but your child has a life time of field trips a head of him and your going to have to make a decision to allow him to be invloved or opt to take him on personal family field trips. The second is extreme,but an option. I have never had any problems with the school bus ride to or from school on field trips. The real concern with field trips is number of chaperones,and your child ability to listen carefully and to stay with a group. I feel that my children are too young to ride alone,and maybe I will to have to put my fears aside and let them ride in the years to come. My oldest daughter is five she has been on two field trips with out me in preschool (because unable to leave my classroom, and I built up a level of trust in procedures and safety measures followed by her preschool teachers),and one more were I acted as a chaperone(her first kindergarten trip). Please plan to attend as many as you possible can,stay prayerful and be wise in your decisions,becuase the ultimate goal is to have healthy well rounded children who can be a productive member of society.
T.

I would let him go and then either follow the bus or meet him there and help out on the trip. I did this last year. Its hard but we have to let them grow up sometime... You will feel better in the future if you do. Also, with 2 kids you are going to have many more to come and you can't be in 2 places at once!

I am curious to know where all of the bus accident reports are coming from. I am a teacher also and have not heard of many bus accidents, as a matter of fact I only here about one a year. I certainly rarely here about deaths or serious injury from bus accidents. I think they are about as common as a tital wave. Maybe I live in a bubble, will somebody give me a website to prove me wrong. Am I a neglectful mother, am I missing something here? Where are people getting these statistics from?

I think you should let him take the bus. Most classes go on at least two field trips per year, so yes, this issue will come up again and again. There have been studies that have shown buses are safer than cars, and bus accidents are very rare. Maybe you could be one of the chaperone's on the field trip, so at least you would be there to know that he arrived safely to and from his field trip.

I really don't think you want to do this to your son. I understand your concerns and fears about the bus but come on. Children ride school buses every day all over the country and have done this for years and years. School buses are safe. And you are right, this subject will come up over and over as they go on class trips. I think you would do more harm than good by driving him or not letting him go at all. See if you can go with as a parent helper.

I would say let him ride the bus and follow behind it. I have a preschooler who attends the public school pre-k and part of the fun of the field trip was riding the bus. I didn't want to take that away from him, so we went on the trip and just followed the school bus there, and he rode home with us.

My son's school also takes them on field trips via bus. But the buses all have seat belts for the kids. I'd talk to the school and make sure they rent buses with seat belts.

Hate to say this but you are going to have to let go a bit, taking a bus on a field trip is a great way to start learning to be independent. He will also be singled out because he is the only one not taking the bus because of a fear that YOU have.

You can never be too overprotective. From one overprotective mommy to another. I actually went and waved goodby to the party mobile for my son's senior prom. At any rate. Follow them, go as a chaperone or (ok I admit it I even kept somebody home once in awhile as long as they weren't mad). And always know that there is one over protective person like myself on those field trips who has a permanent head count going. So if worse comes to worse find that person and let that person know your fears. You are not alone at all. And they can always get therapy one day to deal with our overprotectiveness.

For me growing up the bus ride with my class-mates was more fun than the actual field trip. You are going to the extreme with being over protective. Don't make him the outcast in class. Growing up is hard enough. It is bus ride not a boat trip around the world without a life jacket. Perhaps you could chaperon his field trip so you could be on the bus with him. It might make you feel better.

Hi M., you are not alone with being protective I use to drive my children too. The issue with the field trip, the only way I got over this was to go along on the bus to the field with my children I was lucky to be pick to chaperone each time.
Over time I wasn't as protective on not letting them ride the bus. I have alot of friends that are bus drivers and they all say that safety of children are first.
hope this helps

Hey M., this is probably too late for your son's trip this time, but if it helps in the future...I am a paramedic for the city of Chicago, I respond to school bus accidents all the time, probably hundreds. I HAVE NEVER ENCOUNTERED AN INJURED CHILD!!!!!!!NOT EVEN ONCE. They are designed to protect passengers in case of collision. Also please keep in mind they are quite a bit larger than most other vehicles on the road, and even crashes with cars or small trucks very little damage is caused to the bus.
A bit over a year ago a Chicago fire truck collided with a school bus. A Firefighter was killed, the school bus driver was uninjured. There were no children on that bus, but the driver is easily the most vulnerable and she was not hurt in a crash with a speeding, 20 ton fire truck.
Hope this helps, as this is surely to come up a thousand more times as your boys get older.
M. H.

I totally understand how you feel. I wish I could protect my kids more, too. Heck, I wish they never had to be in a situation where their safety wasn't 110% assured. But from your sons perspective, think of how other kids will tease him when they find out what happened. Even if they're nice kids, this has to be on your son's mind. I would let him go on the bus. But in the end, you have to do what you think is best.

My 3 year old has a bus trip next week, and I am concerned about her riding on the bus too. But I am not going to not let her experience normal parts of growing up. Since she's so little, and it's her first trip, I am going with as a chaperone. Would you be able to attend the trip and ride the bus with him?

Bless you for wanting to keep your children safe. The extra pressure of being the one to keep them safe must be really tough. That said think through what is the greater risk. Going on a bus a few times, verses raising a child that is overly scared. If we protect our boys too much how will they learn to be strong, comfident men. No, one issue won't breed this, just think of the overall message you send him, and make sure it's balanced. Allowing risk when appropriate.

My 3 year old son just went on his first Pre-K field trip yesterday. We rode the school bus. He rides the bus to and from school and has had no problems. He's short, so they help him off and on, but really, I don't think there's any harm in letting a second grader ride the bus. I'm an overprotective mom, too, but this had never occurred to me to be something to worry about! I hope you'll relent and let him ride the bus with his friends. I'm sure that he will be just fine! By the way, I'm a single mother, too.

Why don't you give riding the bus a try and see how it goes? Also, check out the bus...most school buses have seat belts installed now. I'm not sure about the laws surrounding that, but it may be a requirement in Illinois.

I personally don't think a school bus is any less safe than other vehicular forms of transportation unless the kids are moving around while the bus is in motion. I travel a lot and by all methods...over-the-road bus, train, plane, car...both domestically and internationally. My 4-year-old has been traveling with me since 2-months-old.

I think school buses are a different experience than when we were in school. Perhaps if you give it a try, you'll feel more comfortable. Sounds like your son just wants to be part of the crowd.

Good luck!

M.,
I am a school bus driver for handicapped children (high school age kids). Let me tell you that a bus is more safer than your own car. Bus seats are what they call "compartmentalized". They are padded and made close together so if there is an accident, the child is in his own "compartment" to keep them safe. My bus has seat belts, does this one?
Also, the center of gravity is higher on a bus, therefore it is very unlikely that a bus will roll over in any kind of accident (it has happened, but odds are that it will not). You have to have extraordinary circumstances that will roll a bus over. I have put my 18 month old on a bus (in his car seat) and I know that he is safe (with me drving of course!). I hope this has helped you clear your mind.
Take care

Does he have a friend or two in the class that their moms would let you take them, too? That might make him much more willing. And/or maybe you can promise to stop for an ice cream cone from McD's on the way home, saying the bus kids won't get to do that LOL!

Letting go is the hardest part of being a mom. If he doesn't go, he will regret it and possibly feel excluded from the group. My advice is to start considering letting go of your fear and don't make him "different" because he can't go on the trips like everyone else. I don't mean to be harsh, I just know you wouldn't want that either.

Good luck,
A.

You have to let him go. Are you ALWAYS going to be able to drive him to school and on trips? Probably not. What about when they are older and they don't have chaperones on a trip b/c there are plenty of teachers? Anything can happen anywhere at any time. You can't live life in a bubble or on the "what if?" Hundreds of thousands of kids take a bus each day. You can't control everything. Good luck to you and your son.

I think you have answered your own question. You are being overprotective. I think that part of the fun of a field trip is to ride a bus. If you really feel that insecure about the situation, why don't you just follow behind the bus in your own car. That way your son gets the experience, and you get a little peace of mind. Good luck to you. I too was overprotective for a long time, but you have to be careful. You can end up pushing your kids away.

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