Teaching Your Kids Road Safety

If you’re like most parents, your child’s safety is always at the top of your list. You can’t protect them from everything, but when it comes to the roads you can play an important role in developing safe habits. You can talk to your children about road safety from an early age to foster the right behaviour and ensure that they’re well educated on this important issue.

Utilise the Green Cross Code. You’ll have heard it before: ‘stop, look and listen.’ Teach this phrase to your children and repeat it every time you come to a curb and are preparing to cross, and it should stick in their heads for years to come. Don’t forget to encourage them to stay alert and carry on looking and listening as they continue across the road until they’ve arrived safely at the other side. Always set a good example by practicing this yourself, and pointing it out to them as often as possible. It may be helpful to make it into a game to get the kids more engaged; have them pick out the best possible crossing spot while you walk and choose the safest routes. Explain that the pedestrian crossings and intersections with lights are always the better choice than crossing elsewhere in the road, as it gives them a chance to have the right of way.

If your child is under the age of eight then they probably won’t be ready to cross streets alone yet or walk to school unaccompanied. Hold hands while crossing and put reins on younger children if you’re walking with them without a pushchair to ensure they can’t run into the road. If they’re a little older, start pointing out traffic signals so they understand what the cars around them are doing. You can also point out cyclists and motorcyclists and explain the extra risk they carry, and be sure to encourage them to watch out for driveways and any other surprise dangers as you walk.

The more you talk about road safety with your children, the more they’re likely to absorb, so get engaged with the issue and they’ll carry these skills with them for life.

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