Walk Safely This School Year

Whether you are excited or not, school is right around the corner! It is time to start thinking about how your child is going to get there. Walking is a great way for them to get exercise! You may ask yourself; how can I keep my children safe as a pedestrian? The idea of not always being there to make sure your child is crossing a street safely or being able to ensure that cars are driving safely may be scary, but you can do your part and educate your child on pedestrian safety.

Eliminate Distractions

  • Take headphones off or turn down the volume on electronics before crossing a street.
  • If you see a friend that is not paying attention or that is distracted, get their attention to keep them safe.
  • If your kids bring a cellphone with them on walks, be sure to teach them that they need to be in a safe location before using the phone.

Putting it into Action

  • Teach children to look left, right then left again before crossing a street and keep scanning as they cross the road.
  • It is safest to remain on sidewalks, paths, or areas designated for pedestrians. Avoid walking on the road or in the bike lane.
  • Teach children not to run across streets or in parking lots.
  • If children are walking when it is dark out, encourage them to wear bright or reflective clothing, or even LED lights you clip on to your clothing.
  • Children should not cross-roads alone if they are 10 years old or younger, as they are not typically able to judge the distance or speed of oncoming traffic.
  • Teach your children what different traffic lights mean, so they can better understand what is going on around them.

Keeping Others Safe

  • When you are in the car be sure to look out for pedestrians, just as you’d like people to look out for you.
  • When driving put your phone or other electronics away so that your attention is on the road.
  • Be a good role-model. If there are children or other adults in your car, be sure to practice safe habits so that they too can practice them.

Start the conversation now and practice walking the route to help both you and your child feel more comfortable as school begins.

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