As adults, our knowledge of street and pedestrian safety seems like second nature. But what about our children? As parents, we must teach our children pedestrian safety tips while they are young and reinforce those principles as they get older. Not sure where to start? Take a look at these pedestrian safety tips for children.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Children
- Teach children to look left, right, then left again before crossing.
- Teach children to continue looking both ways as they complete their cross.
- Urge children to use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible. If no sidewalk or crosswalk is available, have them walk facing traffic as far away from the road as possible.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before they cross the street, even at crosswalks.
- Children under the age of 10 should be accompanied by an adult when crossing the street.
- Children generally develop speed and distance perception around age 10. However, not all children develop at the same pace.
- Teach children to look out for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Teach children never to dart or run between parked cars or in the road.
- If children are playing outside around dusk, make sure that they are visible. Have them wear brightly-colored or reflective clothing.
- Especially for older children or teenagers, teach children to avoid using a phone, headphones, or mobile devices while walking. Distracted walking is dangerous!
- Help your children recognize the signs of a distracted walker and teach them to speak up if someone is in danger.
- If your child needs to use the phone while walking, have them move to a safe area out of the flow of pedestrian traffic before getting on the phone.
While these tips are helpful for teaching your children about pedestrian safety, the most important thing you can do to teach safe behaviors is to model it yourself. When driving or walking, be alert and attentive, avoid distractions, and always obey posted traffic laws and signals.