With Child Safety Week running from June 3, Parental Choice is looking at Road Safety for Children. Road accidents are a major cause of death and injury among the young, with the risk rising as children reach secondary school age and have more independence.
Danger from traffic is also a big factor dictating whether children and young people are safe to walk and cycle to school, to the park or to see friends, and therefore can impede their ability to be healthy and socially active.
Whatever your child’s age, road safety is one of the most important lessons they’ll learn but it can take years before they are fully competent as they need to make so many judgements.
Road Safety for Children – The Green Cross Code: Stop, Look, Listen and Think!
Your child may already be familiar with the Green Cross Code from school, but it’s up to you to reinforce it. Give them time and space to practise it, even if it means walking a few yards behind them.
Here are some basics:
Find the Safest Place to Cross
Encourage your child to look out for safe crossing spots eg. pedestrian crossings, islands and subways. Aim for them to cross at a spot where they can see clearly in all directions and where they can be seen, so not between parked cars.
Stop Just Before Reaching the Kerb
Teach your child to position themselves so they’re not too close to the edge of the kerb. This means they are safe to take their time looking around for traffic.
Look and Listen
Teach your child to look all around to see if any traffic is coming and check that drivers can see them. Point out that they need to listen carefully for traffic too because sometimes
you can hear traffic it before you see it.
If Traffic is Coming, Let It Pass
Children find it hard to judge the distance and speed of vehicles. Tell them that it is always better to take their time and wait for all traffic to pass, rather than rushing to cross – even if they are feeling impatient or running late!
When it’s Safe, Go Straight across the Road – but Do Not Run
Encourage your child to keep looking and listening as they cross.
More info at www.Think.gov.uk
This article is published by permission of Families Magazine.