Road Safety For Kids

A Primer On Road Safety For Kids

When we think of road safely for kids, the first thing that usually comes to mind is telling them to look both ways before crossing the street. This little piece of advice has no doubt saved countless lives and saved even more youngsters from injury over the years. Road safety for kids however encompasses much more than just crossing the street. All of the subjects relating to road safety for kids taken together would make a series of lectures, if not a complete course of study.

Road safety for kids involves being pedestrians, playing near streets (and not in streets), safety while riding in cars, safety while riding bicycles or skateboards, and learning about such things as crosswalks, railroad crossings, and obeying school patrols. Road safety for kids even encompasses riding in school buses and getting on or off the school bus, or any public conveyance for that matter.

There's lots of things for a child to learn, and once their able to walk about it's time to start teaching them how to be safe on and near roadways.

Walking - One of the first things a child should be taught is not to walk along a street, even on a sidewalk, alone, and always be with an older person whenever crossing the street. The child learns, especially in the city, when and where it's safe to cross a street, as well as which streets are safe to walk along and which are not.

Riding - Usually, when children are very small, they are strapped into a car, first in a carrier, and as they get a little bigger, into a child's car seat. At some point a youngster may start to rebel about getting strapped in, but in this case the parent must be firm. Eventually a youngster will learn to strap himself or herself into the seat, and at that point they deserve a reward.

Going To School - Youngsters who live far from a school will usually either be driven or take the bus. Those who live only a few blocks away are probably in more potential danger, as they will be walking. Youngsters need to be taught to walk in pairs or in groups and watch out for one another. Even though there are low speed limits near a school, not all drivers obey them, and the speed limits usually only apply for a few blocks. Road safety for kids also involves safe ways to enter and exit the school bus, including looking both ways if crossing the street when either getting on or off the bus. Children also need to be taught to mind the members of the school patrol whether those on patrol are adults or classmates.

Railroads - Most youngsters don't have to deal with railroad crossings, but some do. When railroad crossings are a part of one's daily routine, most of them are apt to be in the city where trains are noisy and going slow. In some instances, though, trains may be traveling at a fair speed. Even at 25 miles an hour a train takes a long distance to stop, and a high speed train much longer. Again, it's a matter of looking both ways. As big and noisy as trains are, one doesn't always hear them coming, witness the number of pedestrians that are killed by trains each year.

Bicycles And Skateboards - Bicycles belong either on the sidewalk, or where ordinances prohibit that, at the extreme side of the street. Skateboards do not belong on the street, period. A few lectures on bicycle and skateboard safety should accompany a first time gift of a bicycle or skateboard. In careless hands, both can be dangerous, to the rider and to others.

If teaching road safety for kids seems to be a bit too much trouble at times to get around to doing, the return on investment is as good as you will find for most anything.