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Road Safety for Kids
When kids get older, they will start going to school on their own. They will be going out with friends too. So, teaching kids road safety tips from an early age is important. It will prepare them for navigating the dangers of the road. A worrying number of children get injured or killed on the roads. You can reduce the risk, though, by teaching your kids the basics of road safety. Whether they are going to school on the bus, or they are walking to visit a friend, the risk is there. Teaching your children these simple road safety for kids tips will help keep them safe.
1. Stay Alert – Look and Listen
It’s important that children understand that roads can be dangerous places. Kids need to realize the importance of looking and listening when crossing a road. The speed of a car can be deceptive. Sometimes, you can hear an approaching vehicle before you can see it. As adults, we have had plenty of road safety practice. Kid’s haven’t. So, teach your children to look and listen whenever they are near roads, and to always stay alert.
2. Use a Pedestrian Crossing Whenever You Can
The best place for a child to cross a road is an intersection where there is a pedestrian crossing. Children should know that it is safer to walk a bit further and use a crossing than it is to dash across a busy road.
3. Teach Your Kids the Signals
Teach your children that green means go and red means stop. Tell them to look for the walking man or the “walk” signal, before they cross a pedestrian crossing. Remember to obey the signals yourself when you are with your children. If you don’t, your kids will copy you when they are out on their own.
4. Look and Listen, Even on a Pedestrian Crossing
It’s important that kids understand that pedestrian crossings can still be dangerous. Drivers may make a mistake, or they may ignore the signals. Even when using a crossing, children should still look and listen for traffic.
5. Don’t Cross a Road on a Bend
A bend in the road is a blind spot for both vehicle drivers and for pedestrians. If you cross a road on a bend, drivers can’t see you, and you can’t see oncoming vehicles. Tell your kids to walk along the road until they find a straight stretch of road to cross on.
6. Don’t Cross Between Stationary Vehicles
Kids need to learn that crossing between stationary vehicles is a bad idea. Parked vehicles block your view and drivers can’t see you. Find a place to cross where there are no stationary vehicles. Even if it means walking a bit out of your way.
7. Stop, Look, Listen, Think
Whenever you cross a road, you need to stop, look, listen, and think. Even if the road is usually a quiet one. You can drill this into kids by always doing the same when you are out with them. Kids should come to a complete stop at the roadside. They should look for vehicles and they should listen out for them too. Then, they should ask themselves if it is safe to cross. Here’s a very good road safety for kids video by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
8. Keep Looking and Listening While You Cross
When you cross a road, you should keep looking and listening until you reach the other side. Kids should learn that cars move very fast. Plus, to make things worse, some drivers don’t keep to the speed limits. You need to watch out for approaching vehicles all the way across the road.
9. Walk, Don’t Run
Another important road safety rule for kids to follow is never run on a road. Whenever you cross a road, walk at a brisk pace, but don’t run. If you run, you could fall. You should also cross a road in a straight line. No meandering or crossing at an angle. Otherwise, you will be on the road longer than you needed to be.
10. Use Sidewalks
Encourage your child to always use the sidewalk, even on quiet roads. Even this simplest of road safety for kids tips needs to be explained to children.
Teaching young kids road safety will help keep them safe on the roads when they get older. Whenever you are out with your children, use it as an opportunity to teach them about road safety. And, don’t forget to lead by example. Follow the road safety rules when you are walking with your children. Then, your kids are more likely to remember these road safety for kids tips when you are not with you.