Total time for this module: 1 hour without practicing installation
School bus drivers need guidance on how to deal with child safety restraint systems (CSRSs). The safest way to transport a young child is in a CSRS. These include portable child safety seats, integrated (built-in) child safety seats, and other devices such as safety restraint vests. This curriculum focuses on the use and installation of child safety seats (CSS). For the remainder of the curriculum we will refer to all Child Safety Restraint Systems as child safety seats. School bus drivers need to know how to properly install a CSS on the bus and a child in a CSS.
At the completion of this module, participants will be able to:
1. State the local school district's policy on the need for and the use of CSSs
2. Describe how a school bus must be equipped to use a CSS
3. Install a CSS properly and install a child properly in a CSS
4. Take action if a CSS cannot be installed
1. The Problem
2. If There Is Occupant Protection Available
3. If No Occupant Protection Is Available
- Materials Needed
- Overhead projector and screen
- Overhead slides
- Local policies and procedures
- Child Transportation Safety Tips – #1 through #9
- Are You Using It Right? brochure
Demonstration and Practice Session Instructions
This module should have a demonstration and a practice session: a demonstration during the module itself and a practice session at the conclusion of the module. Both sessions should be done by someone who is knowledgeable about the installation and use of child safety seats.
You are encouraged to invite a child passenger safety technician. To find out about technicians who are available to you, contact your state highway safety office or the Manager of Driver Training and Professional Development at (407) 444-7960 (address: AAA National Office, MS 76, 1000 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746-5063). AAA has a national listing of child safety seat experts.
The demonstration (see Section III.E.) can be done using a child safety seat on a table. This demonstration can be fairly brief (5-10 minutes). The demonstration should:
- Review the parts of the child safety seat
- Show how to thread the seat belt through the seat to secure the child safety seat
- Show how to put your body weight in the child safety seat and push down while pulling the seat belt as tight as possible to secure the seat snugly
- Describe how to tuck the webbing from the seat belt (used to secure the child safety seat) behind the child safety seat so that other students can't pull on it
- Demonstrate how to position and tighten the harness straps on the child.
The practice session (V.F.) allows participants to actually practice installing child safety seats. It should be done under the supervision of a qualified person who can help and answer questions.
There are nine child transportation tip sheets and a brochure included as handouts. You can make all the copies you want of the tip sheets. One copy of the brochure, Are You Using It Right?, is included. You can make additional copies onto four 8 x 11 sheets. Or call NHTSA at (202) 366-2711 for more copies. Please note: The tip sheets were specifically written for passenger car use but most of the information presented is directly applicable to school buses.
Unless you want to spend time reviewing them in class, hand out the tips sheets and brochure at the end of the classroom time and before the practice session. Otherwise, participants will read the handouts instead of paying attention to you.