Recently updated on October 25th, 2022 at 11:02 am
Walking with your children from an early age can help them develop a healthy, active lifestyle they can maintain into adulthood.
On the other hand, children cannot analyze and choose safe routes nor discern when and where to cross the street. It is your responsibility to guide them. Here are some child pedestrian safety education tips to help your youngster walk safely on the roads.
1. Stop, Look, And Cross
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Your youngster may have to walk to and from school or the bus stop. They may only need to cross the street when the school bus arrives. Even if they don’t, they may need to cross the street to see a friend or neighbor. In any case, you should teach your children how to cross the road safely as this helps reduce child pedestrian accidents. Here’s how you may assist them in learning.
Always look for traffic lights and cross the street using a pedestrian crossing. In the absence of such indications, you should do the following:
- Check your right, left, and back to see any oncoming vehicles.
- If so, wait for the vehicle to pass before crossing the street.
- Never cross curves.
- Crossing between stopped automobiles is never a good idea.
2. Pay Attention – Listen
Train your children that they may not always be able to notice an approaching car, particularly when approaching a bend. As a result, people should listen to determine if a car is coming. Cars and other vehicles on the road frequently use the “horn” to mark their approach to bends and crossroads. Inform your children:
- Whether they hear a horn, they should halt and glance to the left and right to see if any vehicles are approaching.
- Listen for engine sounds nearby to determine whether there is a moving vehicle – explain how a loud noise suggests the car is nearby and a quiet sound indicates the vehicle is far away. The sound of tires also signals the presence of a car.
3. Know Your Signals
Assist your child in learning about traffic lights and signs and what each hue represents.
Red means to ‘stop’: When the light becomes red, all cars must come to a complete stop.
Yellow means to slow down: Vehicles should slow down and prepare to stop when the signal turns yellow.
- The ‘Walk’ or a walking man emblem at intersections is for pedestrians. Only cross the street if these signs turn green. However, check to the left and right to ensure no vehicles are approaching.
- Don’t cross the street if the sign says “Don’t Walk,” or the walking man symbol turns red.
A hand symbol is sometimes used instead of the walking man or ‘Walk’ signs. Tell your child about it as well. If there are any other symbols for pedestrians, make sure to inform them. Additionally, gradually teach your children about the different essential traffic signals they should be aware of.
4. Crossroads and Pedestrian Crossing
Kids have a habit of sprinting across the street, anyplace they want. Passing vehicles do not slow until there is a signal or a crossroads, which can be dangerous. Tell your children to only cross at intersections and utilize the pedestrian crossing. They should observe the guidelines outlined above in a small neighborhood with no crossroads or signposted junctions.
Children’s pedestrian safety lessons should be included in the school curriculum.
5. Be Seen, Stay Safe
Wearing all black may be worse when going on a nighttime walk. If you wish to be safe, vehicle drivers must recognize you. You can do that by:
- When walking or bicycling at night, wear light-colored clothing or reflective material.
- During the day, dress brightly.
- Wear lights or flashing lights to make yourself visible to vehicles at night.
- If you want to alert an approaching car of your presence, wave your hand.
6. Always Use Sidewalks
Teach your children to walk on the sidewalk instead of the road. Set a good example for children by using the walking routes. Whether the roadway is busy or not, urge your child to walk on the sidewalk to stay safe on the road.
Significantly, if there are no sidewalks, show children how to walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
7. Never Stick Hands Outside the Vehicle
Children’s hands tend to fall out even while the school bus is going. Some of them may even stick their heads out to wave back. This is frequent among students who take the school bus. Although it may appear fun, sticking hands or heads out of a moving car can be deadly. If youngsters are not cautious, they may get hit by vehicles approaching from the opposite direction or by objects close to the road, such as signs and trees.
The Importance of Traffic Rules and Regulations for Children
Children, unlike adults, lack the maturity to know what to do and what not to do when walking down the street. Youngsters can endanger themselves without adult supervision and awareness of road safety standards. According to a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, children made up 3% of those killed in car accidents. In the same year, statistics show that 480 children were injured in traffic accidents daily.
It would be best if you did not compromise your children’s safety. Teach children about road safety as soon as they are old enough to leave the house. By practicing with them, you can ensure that they understand what you’re saying.
Safe to go solo: knowing when your child is ready
Their age determines your child’s readiness to navigate traffic safely on their own and how much practice they’ve had with real roads and traffic.
Generally, when your child knows and understands traffic safety guidelines, they are ready to traverse roadways safely on their own. Your youngster should also learn that, while they must follow the regulations of the road, drivers do not always do so.
Significantly, your child must be able to pay attention to vehicles on the road and determine their distance and rate of approach. Of course, your youngster must be able to choose safe crossing points.
Teaching children about road safety is critical because they spend most of their time outside exploring and playing. You can start by describing traffic lights and signals so they can understand them. Teaching children road safety is also a fun chore because you can include these guidelines in various games for a fun learning session. You might also plan a trip around town focused on teaching your youngster about road safety.