When traveling by train or bus with small children, safety is a crucial factor.
In the station lobby, keep children close by. Places like crowded airports and bustling train stations are very popular hangouts for purse snatchers and pickpockets, and an unsupervised child might be a very tempting target.
Don’t let your luggage out of sight, either. With a family-sized pile of baggage, one small piece might not be missed until the family is a hundred miles from the station. Put your ID on all of your luggage. While you’re at it, make sure every child is also carrying ID, including name, address, itinerary, phone numbers, and if possible, the contact information for the person the child is going to see at their destination. That way, even in the unlikely event you and your children are separated, they should be able to contact either you or someone at the destination.
Supervision of children is also critical when boarding or leaving the vehicle. Bus and train stations are very active places, with vehicles moving in all directions, and a child could very easily step into danger while the parents are wrestling with a stroller or heavy bag.
Bus or train rides that last longer than a few minutes will require moving around, even if only for restroom breaks. Since the vehicle will be moving, children may need help to keep their balance and footing while working their way to and from the restroom.
Place children in window seats on buses whenever possible. Not only will this give them something to look at during the trip, it will also make it more difficult for them to wander away down the aisle if mommy or daddy falls asleep because they would have to crawl over or under the adult.
Trains and subways can be very crowded at times and small children can get lost in the commotion. Be sure to keep the children close when the ride becomes “standing room only.”