Pedestrian safety is important for everyone, but it’s crucial for kids to learn at an early age. In this case, it’s up to parents to ensure their children are playing it safe when out and about, especially when walking in highly congested areas. To help you help your kids, SafeKids.org offers the following tips.
Older kids are likely glued to mobile devices at all times, even while walking. Make sure your child knows that texting while walking can be just as dangerous as doing so while driving. Even headphones make it difficult to judge your risk, as you won’t be able to hear oncoming traffic. Teach your kids to place all of their attention on the road while crossing the street. You must also do your part to set a good example. When walking with your child, put down your phone when approaching an intersection.
Younger kids should be supervised crossing the street until about age ten. Even if your child is responsible, it can be tough to make judgments on the speed and closeness of approaching vehicles at such a young age. You can teach your child about the proper way to cross the street at this point, and take steps to reinforce this behavior at every turn. The best method is to look left, look right, and left again before crossing the street in an alert and aware fashion.
Also, teach your kids to stick to sidewalks when walking along the road. If there are no sidewalks available, kids should stay as far to the left side of the road as possible while also facing vehicles. Additionally, make sure they understand that they should never cross the street anywhere other than a crosswalk unless absolutely necessary.