MOBILE FOR A 5 YEAR OLD - over anxious parent

(33 Posts)
henryscatoscar Thu 22-May-14 11:50:05

HI, in september our son (hes 5) might need to use the school bus to drop him off near his child minders, she will pick him up from the bus stop. my wife is super worried about this in case childminder is delayed. we've seen Ibaby phone reviews and similar on the web. Anyone used one or similar? for the ibaby phone specifically I couldn't see anywhere that sold it. The feature of just pushing one button in an emergency and it dialing out seemed good. Many thanks smile

I honestly cannot think of any situation where a 5 year old would need a mobile phone

I'd be extremely anxious about putting my DS on a bus too. He is the same age. In fact, call me over anxious but it just wouldn't be happening.

Mumsnet were promoting a child-only/friendly mobile phone with just a few emergency contact numbers on it a while back - I cannot remember the name, I have tried googling with no luck hopefully someone else can point you in the direction of this phone, as it looked ideal for what you are wanting.

will a 5 year old actually be able to take a mobile phone to school anyway?

I have found the link 1stfone

paneer Thu 22-May-14 12:02:34

I would be looking for an alternative after school arrangement rather than buying a phone.

bakingtins Thu 22-May-14 12:03:51

Surely if the CM is not there they will not allow him off the bus? Leaving a 5 yr old unsupervised would be a massive safeguarding issue.

Thumbcat Thu 22-May-14 12:05:19

Surely the bus wouldn't leave a five year old until someone was there to collect them?

PhoebeMcPeePee Thu 22-May-14 12:06:17

I'm generally pretty laid back with my DC (let them play out the front of our house, no direct supervision in our big garden etc) but there's no way I'd put a 5 year old on a bus alone. Use a special child taxi, walk, cycle, find alternative childcare - pretty much anything except the current proposal.

I agree with Phoebe and paneer can he not attend an after school club ?

Theas18 Thu 22-May-14 12:13:24

no no and no re the phone!

If nothing else it falsely reassures the adults involved "doesn't matter if I'm late... I can drop him here and he'll call even though CM isn't here" etc.

No 5yr old should carry responsibility for this sort of thing. it's up to the adult to be 100% sure the arrangements are robust.

I assume you are in the UK? if so surely a bus that takes unaccompanied 5yr olds has supervision and a responsible adult to adult hand over?

bakingtins Thu 22-May-14 12:15:11

I was assuming this is a specific school bus with some adult supervision, he's not getting a normal service bus?
My son (7) gets a minibus to his after-school club - a keyworker rounds up all the kids when they are let out of school and accompanies them to the after-school centre which is shared by several primary schools.
They'd be hung drawn and quartered for leaving him unsupervised at the stop - they'd have to pass him into the care of a named adult.

forago Thu 22-May-14 12:22:37

I'm with Phoebe. I would be looking for another solution. I would be frantic with worry every afternoon until the CM confirmed she had him (not overly anxious with my dc at all). What if she gets delayed, car breaks down. she has an accident? You can't have a 5y old wondering round on their own off a bus.

I would also be very wary of using a CM that suggested or agreed to this proposal and thinks its an acceptable level of risk.

OddFodd Thu 22-May-14 12:27:53

Surely the school bus won't let him off if the CM isn't there to meet him?

MirandaWest Thu 22-May-14 12:31:28

You need to trust the arrangements you have in place. If you don't trust the childminder to be at the bus at the right time then you shouldn't use her. If he were being picked up from school by the childminder would you want a mobile phone?

What exactly would you do if your DS phoned you? Presumabley you are using a childminder because you and your wife are at work so it's not as if him phoning would do any good as you couldn't be there anyway. I am also presuming it is a school bus rather than an ordinary one so someone would need to hand him over to someone anyway.

andsmile Thu 22-May-14 12:34:25

you are asing about a frigging phone - get real Im agog at you putting your 5 year old onto a bus. NO this is not a good arrangement.

Change your arrangement. Who will be responsible for him when he is on the bus, who will be safeguarding him.

No No not right at all.

meditrina Thu 22-May-14 12:35:09

You need to find out exactly what will happen on the bus. Is there a chaperone? What is the procedure if a 5yo passenger is not met?

Will they even take to CM location, rather than school-home?

PatriciaHolm Thu 22-May-14 12:36:18

I can see why she is concerned, but I can't see how the phone will help.
If there is any chance the bus will turf him off even if there is no-one to meet him, there is no way he should be going on it. If it will hold on to him, they will call you anyway.

unlucky83 Thu 22-May-14 12:45:24

He doesn't need a phone!!!!
'School bus' - if anything like the one here is a minibus...it could actually be a taxi. - run by the council because you are more than a mile from school and within the catchment.

Think about the way that schools won't let younger children leave without an adult to collect - someone to pass responsibility to - same is true for the bus - they have to pass the responsibility over

The driver will be PVG checked, knows which children should be on the bus, where they are dropped off - they wouldn't leave a 5 yr old at a bus stop on their own!!!

Children from 4.5 yo get on the 'school bus ' here - no problems ...and they don't have mobile phones...smile

paneer Thu 22-May-14 12:47:24

If it is a school bus/council operated bus aren't the obliged to drop off at a location as specified by the parents?
Therefore if it is can they not just drop at the childminders house?

moldingsunbeams Thu 22-May-14 12:58:52

The school bus here will wait a few minutes and then if no one arrives they are taken back to school and parents called.

No one just drops them off at five and leaves them.

Those shouting about the bus I am presuming op means a specific school chaperoned bus rather than a public service, similar to what America have.

My relatives live in a tiny village and the bus collected children from the nearby villages from age four to the school in a nearby town.

BigGlasses Thu 22-May-14 13:08:40

My DD (5) gets a school bus to school. It picks her up from a collection point 100yards down the road (not in sight of the house) at 8.30 and delivers her to school gate for 8.40 though the school doesn't start til 9. Noone checks she goes from busstop to classroom. At the end of the day she gets herself from the classroom to the bus stop, gets on the correct bus (there are lots of school buses) and comes home where the bus driver drops her at the same stop.
For al those saying the driver is responsible, in our case the bus driver has no list of pupils, and has no responsibility at all. He just lets the kids off the bus whether there is a parent there or not. I've asked the school and it seems to be a grey area who is actually responsible for the kids. There is no adult on the bus apart from the driver. I can completely understand desire for a mobile phone, I've considered it myself to be honest.

In that case, if it is a properly chaperoned bus I cannot see any reason whatsoever to give a 5yo a mobile.

OddFodd Thu 22-May-14 13:11:29

Is that a UK state school BigGlasses? shock

BigGlasses Thu 22-May-14 13:20:36

A primary school in Fife, Scotland. There is about 30 kids on the bus, ranging from P1 (age 4.5) to P7 (age 11). I've never actually heard of any problems to be fair, but there isn't any safeguards against problems. I know loads of kids who go to the busstop in the mornings on their own, and then in the evenings get off the bus and run home on their own. Their parent is waiting in the house for them (hopefully). The bus driver has no responsibility at all to ensure the child gets home safely as far as I know.
I put DD on the bus each morning and collect her from the bus in the afternoon. She also has instructions on which neighbors to go to if for some reason (it's never happened) that I'm not at the busstop to collect her.

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