Pedestrian and Road Safety for Kids
Children are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of the road given their unpredictability, limited understanding of safety and tendency to get distracted by what they’re doing in the moment. Children are also still developing their understanding of sound, distance and speed. Luckily, there is plenty that we can do to ensure kids stay safe on the roads! Read on to discover how you, as a parent or childminder, can help keep kids safe on the road:
When can children be left unsupervised on the road?
Children generally require adult supervision when on roads or near traffic until they are around 11 or 12 years old. Some children might be road-ready at a slightly earlier or older age, but this is a good measure to keep in mind.
Driveways and carparks
It’s important to never leave a child unattended near a driveway or in a carpark. Small children can be near-impossible to see in the rear-view mirror of a reversing car. For this reason, it’s important to monitor your child at all times when in a car park, especially if it’s busy.
Although children often love to play in the front yard, it's important to be mindful of the location of your driveway. Children chasing a ball onto the driveway mightn’t notice a reversing car. It can be a good idea to fence off the yard from the driveway, in order to avoid the danger of the driveway. You might also like to get into the habit of waving goodbye to visitors from inside the house or front doorway, rather than nearer the driveway.
Pedestrian and Road Safety Tips
- Always hold your child’s hand when near or on a road, footpath, near traffic lights, or at a zebra crossing.
- Never leave children alone to play near parked (or moving) vehicles.
- When crossing the road, always look left, right and left again before crossing.
- Always cross at pedestrian crossings or street corners.
- Always wait for the pedestrian lights to turn green before crossing.
- Make eye-contact with drivers before crossing the road, especially at intersections.
Lead by Example
The best to ensure children adopt safe behaviours near roads is to lead by example. Children naturally learn from watching the behaviour and actions of those around them. So, be the shining example and lead the way!
Keep the Message Simple
When communicating road safety to children, be sure to use age-appropriate language that they’ll understand. Kids will also have a better understanding if given a clear, simple and repetitive message. When communicating with your child about road safety, be sure to stick to the same message, i.e. “Let’s look left, right, and left again… Okay, now we can cross.”
Road Safety Crossword for Kids
Put your road safety knowledge to the test with this fun road safety crossword puzzle!