Whether your kids are walking to school, the park or a friend’s house, there are a few
simple tips to make sure your child gets there safely.
Teach Kids the Basics from the Beginning
• Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far away from vehicles as possible.
• Teach kids at an early age to put down their devices and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
• Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach them not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Let Your Actions Speak as Loud as your Words
• Set a good example by putting devices down when you are driving or walking around cars. If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.
• Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.
Take Action Against Distraction
• Teach kids to look up and pay extra attention when using headphones, cell phones or electronic devices such as tablets or games. Make it a rule to put these devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce the message with your teenagers.
• Be aware of others who may be distracted—and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
• If your kids need to use a cell phone, teach them to stop walking and find a safe area to talk.
• For headphones, pull them down or turn off the volume before crossing the street.
DID YOU KNOW?
Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 19. Teenagers are now at greatest risk. Teens have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths.
For more information and tips, please visit safekids.org