As a parent, your biggest concern is your child’s safety. This is especially important when you have to let your child walk on their own to certain places. It’s good to let them be independent but first you need to teach them important road safety rules. The better you are at setting an example for them, the more they’ll follow these rules.
Here are some of the most important things they need to know:
Look before you go
Teach them to look in every direction before they want to cross a road. This is often not easy as children don’t understand the danger that may be coming their way. To instil this in them, do it every time you cross the road with them. This will then become a habit that they will keep for the rest of their lives.
Never run across the street
Children have a tendency to run across the street because they think that running is safer than walking. However, you need to explain why this is not true. Let them know the dangers of running, especially if they don’t even look first. This should never happen as it is one of the most dangerous things that they could do.
Teach them traffic signals
Best way to stop your child from doing something they shouldn’t is to teach them the traffic signals. Explain what the traffic lights mean, what some of the most common signs mean etc. “Following the traffic light signals can also be fun for them. However, teach them that looking in each direction is still mandatory.
Always listen to what is happening on the road
Your children should never cross a road with their headphones on, talking to someone or doing anything else that might overwhelm their hearing enough so that they can’t hear the traffic. Teach them to focus only on listening and looking around as they cross the road. Even if they can’t see a car, they will be able to hear it if they pay attention.
Wear bright clothes
Bright clothes help drivers see them on time and stop in case that they have to. Dull clothes make this harder, especially at dusk, dawn, or at night. This one shouldn’t be that hard, seeing how most kids love bright clothes.
Teach them to use crosswalks or zebra crossings
One of the best things that you could teach your children is to look for crosswalks or zebra crossings and cross only there. Previous rules such as looking and listening are still important but your child is much safer on zebra crossings. Role model this behaviour by not jay walking but always crossing in the crosswalk or at the street corner.
Teach them to keep their hands in the vehicle
When riding in a car, children have a tendency to put their hands outside. This may appear harmless enough but it could case them serious injuries. Prevent injuries and accidents by teaching them to “behave in a vehicle”.
Never run away
This often happens – a child and his or her parent are crossing the road and the child suddenly lets go of his parent and runs to the other side. Don’t let this happen. Stay focused on them and hold them firmly – teach them that running away is dangerous.
Letting your child be independent in traffic is hard but if you instil good practices in them, they will be safe. Follow some of these tips to ensure their safety.