School bus and bus assistants: What’s it Like?

Dubai school bus

Photo credit

Most of the schools in Dubai run school bus services for students. Moms who stay at home or can make time to drop and/or pick up their child (children) use their own cars for what is popularly called here as ‘school runs’. Anyway, buses come in different sizes from minivan types to those big yellow buses like the one in Western movies. All buses have someone to take care of the children, see to it that they behave, fasten their seat belts, etc. Big buses have one or two assistants to cater the needs of the children while small buses only have one.

The bus assistant’s duty is basic and simple: calling the parent or caretaker when the bus is near, pick up bag, assist the child in going down or onto the bus, waving goodbye.

Last Sunday, Pristine’s bus assistant needed to do something more: call an ambulance.

If you are a mom in Dubai or anywhere else  reading this, please make sure the emergency number is on your bus assistant’s (or driver’s)  speed dial.

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We’re using the school bus service to take Pristine to school and back home in the afternoon.  On the way home from school last Sunday, as per my telephone conversation with the bus assistant, Pristine suddenly had a seizure. Her whole body jerked, eyes to the ceiling and turning blue. She had febrile convulsion. Over the phone, I heard the sound of the ambulance getting louder, crying and panicking children and the assistant’s trembling voice as she waited for the ambulance to arrive.

It was a seizure triggered by sudden onset of very high fever (she was perfectly well in the morning) but it could have been worse. I am so thankful for the bus assistant, coincidentally named “Ms. Nice” for doing the right thing, not panicking and calling medical help.

22 thoughts on “School bus and bus assistants: What’s it Like?

  1. As the parent of an epileptic child I am keenly aware of just how terrifying this can be. I am currently pushing for bus aides and teachers to be trained in how to recognize a seizure as well as how to respond to one. My son has tonic/clonic seizures so there isn’t any convulsing or shaking. He just stares off into space and if it’s really bad, starts vomiting.

    Seizures are not to be taken lightly. They can be fatal if not addressed immediately.

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    • Thank you and I hope everything will be well with your wife. Please send my warm regards to her.
      The new website design – I have done modifying the Thesis framework. It’s still a work in progress!

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    • Thank you, Maribeth. Pristine was immediately ok after that, just a little drowsy and very tired. She stayed home for a week just to be sure. No fever after that. She was back to school this morning where she was welcomed warmly by her friends and teachers.

      They were calling out her name all over. I didn’t know she is this popular!

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  2. That’s a terrifying experience Grace! May gani quick mag respond ang bus assistant… I hope Pristine won’t have go through that again. Good thing that someone was there to watch over her.

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  3. Oh, that is scary!! What a helpless feeling, but thankful that you had such a great person there to take care of the situation.

    Boy, I wish we had bus assistants.

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    • Being so helpless when you know your child is in danger is the most terrifying thing in the world! I hope it never happens again!

      >>Boy, I wish we had bus assistants.
      You mean there are no bus assistants in your child’s bus? Is that the norm there?

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    • Hello, yes I was so scared my body was shaking. I didn’t think of febrile convulsion at first – I thought the bus met some sort of accident on the road when the bus assistant, breathless, called me and said my daughter was unconcious.

      I don’t ever want that episode to happen again! 😦

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    • Pristine was ok when I reached the hospital. She has undergone tests that didn’t have any significant findings so was discharged that same day. She stayed home though for the rest of the week to be on the safe side.

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    • Thanks, my daughter Pristine is ok. It was just a sudden onset of high fever that caused the convulsion. It’s still scary though and hope it won’t happen again!

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  4. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I didn’t see this post before! That’s got to be so scary for everyone involved, especially you since you couldn’t be there and were listening to this whole thing happen over the phone O.o

    I’m so glad everything turned out okay and that Pristine is well! Thank goodness for quick thinking and calm bus assistants!

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