You can help children develop pedestrian safety skills and road safety skills by giving them plenty of practice around real roads – for example, by walking with children to and from child care or school or to the local shops.
While your child is learning, these pedestrian safety guidelines will help prevent accidents:
• Hold your child’s hand when crossing roads together and wherever there’s traffic or cars. Take special care where there’s a lot of traffic, high-speed traffic, narrow or non-existent footpaths, or things that block the view, such as parked cars and trucks, trees, hill crests or crowded footpaths.
• Always cross at pedestrian crossings, wait for the lights, and look in every direction to check there are no cars coming. To help your child understand about when and where it’s safe to cross, explain what you’re doing.
• Stop at driveways and check there are no cars reversing or entering.
• Start talking about road safety while your child is still in the stroller. For example, ‘Uh oh, car coming. Better wait until it’s gone before we cross’. Keep talking about road safety as he grows.
As you walk together, you can ask your child simple questions to get her thinking about pedestrian and road safety:
• Where is the safest place to cross this road?
• What do we need to do before we cross the road together?
• Why do we hold hands to cross the road together?
• When is it safe to cross the road?
• What do we look for when crossing the road?
• What sounds are we listening for when crossing the road?
Cross, D.S., & Hall, M.R. (2014). Pedestrian safety. Raising Children Network [Online]. Available: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/sharing.html/context/568 [Sep.04, 2014]