Summer marks a lot more free time for our favorite kids, and we know some of that time will be spent outside. That’s why we wanted to bring you a Guest Blog on child safety and the road. Many children know the basics – to look left and right before crossing the street – but there’s so much more that can be done to keep safety at the forefront of this year’s summer activities.
As a parent, your main priority is your children’s safety. You spend a lot of time thinking of ways to care for them and to keep them safe, but there will be times when you have to let them be a little bit independent and start learning about the world. During these times, all you can do is to give them advice and teach them lessons on what to do or say.
One of the most dangerous places for children is the road. Depending on where you live, roads can be filled with hundreds or even thousands of cars that can go zooming past. Your children may be in danger if you do not teach them ways to be safe whenever they are near roads or streets, so it’s best to give them the following guidelines:
1. Use sidewalks.
Sidewalks are your kid’s best friend when they are walking. Sidewalks are usually separated from the vehicular section of the road by a curb to prevent vehicles from going into the pedestrian section. If there is no sidewalk, tell your children to walk facing oncoming traffic so they can see the vehicles that are going in their direction.
2. Use pedestrian crosswalks.
Pedestrian crosswalks ensure that you’re crossing the street in the safest section possible. Tell your children that they still need to look left and right before crossing even if they use the crosswalk whenever they are crossing the street. Teach your children to make eye contact with the driver of an oncoming vehicle to make sure that the driver is aware that someone is passing.
3. Do not run.
Teach your kids not to run or dart out in the middle of the street. Even if it’s just in front of your residence where there may be speed bumps to slow vehicles down, some drivers still speed through them or go over the set speed limit, so it’s best to teach your children never to run whenever they are by the street.
4. Avoid walking at night.
Try to get your kids at home before sundown. If it is not possible, tell your kids that they have to be more aware of their surroundings, especially oncoming vehicles. Have them wear bright colored clothes and reflective gear to ensure that drivers can see them.
5. Play in safe spaces.
Your children would want to play outside of the house with their friends, and that is okay, it is part of them socializing and being children. Just make sure to tell them never to play in driveways, the street or road, parking lots, or yards by the street with no fence.
6. Always be alert.
Keep distractions to a minimum. Tell your kids to put down their cell phones when crossing the street. If they are listening to music while walking, they should keep the volume down so that they can hear oncoming vehicles, or just listen to music after they’ve reached their destination. If they need to use their cell phone, they should stop walking and find a safe place where they can use the device.
You will never stop worrying about your children no matter what they are doing, that is what parenting is all about. However, you can teach them ways on how to avoid getting into danger and make sure that they create a habit out these lessons to keep them safe from road accidents.