In recent weeks, we have had lots of questions from clients about how to make their children more aware of the dangers on the road and in places like car parks. Living on a road with 3 schools, I see the lollipop man twice daily at set times, but when he isn't there, how can it be ensured that children cross the road safely and understand the potential dangers. This blog contains some top tips to help you to be vigilant with children of all ages when it comes to road safety.
Children are natural explorers and that means that it is important to set boundaries around where they can or can't venture both at home and when you are out. Exploring in a place they shouldn't can easily lead to terrible accidents and most of these take place close to home in a child's own driveway or street. In Australia, these transport related accidents are the most common cause of childhood death.
From the time children are old enough to talk, it is important to send them consistent messages regarding road safety and your expectations of them. This needs to be done in a clear and simple way that they understand. Remember that children will model your behaviour so it is vital to practice what you preach! Here are some ideas to help you out.
Never leave your keys in the car in the driveway
Remember to walk around your car before reversing - children can be very difficult to see and are often not as tall as your blind spot
Have outdoor play areas separate from the driveway and ensure children are not allowed to play in the driveway
IN THE CAR
Ensure everyone is in an appropriate car seat and seat belt and explain to your children why this is important
Enter and exit the car kerbside
If you are still unloading things from the car- wait until you are finished before taking your children out so they have your full attention
WALKING ALONG THE ROAD
Design rules relating to road behaviour which can change as your children grow. e.g - always holding an adult's hand to cross the road; waiting for an adult before crossing a road and always crossing at designated crossings.
Don't cross between parked cars
At every crossing go through the STOP; LOOK; LISTEN AND THINK protocol with your children
Treat driveways as roads
If your children are using scooters; bikes or skateboards; ensure that they know how to stop suddenly and make sure the brakes are working
If your children are walking alone in the day or night, ensure that their clothing is bright enough to allow them to be seen.
Hope all your family travels are safe ones!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!