Children are naturally curious and full of energy, making them eager explorers of the world around them. As they grow and develop, children need to learn about safety, particularly when it comes to pedestrian accidents.
Parents and caregivers should go over some easy yet effective strategies to help protect little walkers from potential harm.
Safe crossing and holding hands
One of the most basic but important lessons children should learn is how to safely cross the road. Emphasize the importance of using designated crosswalks, waiting for the green light or walk signal and looking both ways before stepping onto the road. Encourage children to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see them.
For younger children, holding hands with an adult or older sibling is important when walking near roads. This simple act provides an added layer of safety, ensuring that the child remains close and is less likely to wander into traffic. Sadly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 176 children (those 14 and under) died in pedestrian accidents during 2021.
Distractions and visibility
Distractions can be dangerous, especially for children. Teach them to avoid using electronic devices or wearing headphones while walking near roads. Encourage them to stay focused on their surroundings to prevent accidents caused by not paying attention. Also, make sure children are visible to drivers, especially during low light conditions. Dress them in bright, reflective clothing, or attach reflective accessories to their backpacks or jackets. This basic precaution significantly increases their visibility.
Protecting children from pedestrian accidents is a shared responsibility. By teaching them road safety skills, being good role models and implementing simple strategies, people can greatly reduce the risk of accidents. Remember, it is never too early to start educating children about pedestrian safety, as these lessons will stay with them throughout their lives.