Road safety tips to keep your children safe at home, in the car, and walking along the road.
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 article contains useful tips to help you be more vigilant with children of all ages when it comes to road safety.
Children are natural explorers and that means it is important to set boundaries on 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.
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 on the driveway.
Remember to walk around your car before reversing as 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 (with seatbelt) 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. For example: always hold an adult's hand to cross the road; wait for an adult before crossing a road; and always cross at designated crossings.
Don't cross between parked cars.
At every crossing, go through the STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. 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.
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.