School is almost back in session. And for most children, this brings on a wave of emotions ranging from excitement to dread. Many people don’t stop to think that with the school season about to open up, they should be extra vigilant of kids not just in school zones, but throughout their communities as well as teaching their children road safety rules. Showing your children how to avoid dangers on the street should be as important as buying school supplies and uniforms.
Here are some tips for parents both new and old:
- Teach your kids from very early on the rules of the road and how to stay safe on them. Staying on the sidewalk and looking both ways when they cross should be at the forefront of their minds at all times when they are on the street. Never allow your child to cross the street from in between parked cars.
- Tell young children to only cross when the sign says “cross” after pressing the button and looking on the street to make sure it is safe to cross. Remember, teach your child how to Stop before crossing, Look and Listen for potential cars and only when it’s safe to cross, they may do so. Also, teach them to use the cross guard if one is provided.
- And last but certainly not least, teach them safety rules if they are riding their bikes to/ from school. Always make sure your child is highly visible, wears a helmet and knows that a bicycle is a vehicle and must follow the same rules as the road users.
Lead by example! To ensure that your child is practicing safety rules of the road, you must show them how it’s done. Getting hit by a car is the 3rd leading cause of death for kids 5-9 worldwide, according to online journal Psychological Science mainly because children are easily distracted and aren’t always paying attention to the road. By ensuring your child knows the importance of being safe on the road from very early on, you can prevent distractions.
Happy walking/riding kids!