Mom always said “look both ways before you cross the street.” Sounds simple enough, but many young children can forget to follow even the simplest rules when they are playing outdoors with friends.
On average in the United States, a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes. How can you prevent your child from being involved in an accident?
The ideal situation is to always have an adult supervise your child when he/she is playing outside, but that isn’t always an option. Make sure your child is aware of common rules when playing outside, and set a good example. Follow the same rules when crossing the street with your child.
Crossing the Street
· When crossing the street, stop at the curb or edge of the road.
· Look left, then right, then left again for moving cars before crossing.
· Walk, don’t run or dart, into the street.
· Keep looking left and right until you are safely across the street.
· Look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning).
· Walk alertly.
· Don’t cross from between parked cars.
When do Pedestrian Injuries Occur
Forty percent of pedestrian fatalities for individuals under the age of 16 occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Almost half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
What other steps can you take to protect your child?
· Never allow your child to play in the street.
· Have your child wear reflective clothing when playing outside after dark.
Additional Safety Tips
· Instruct your child to never run after a ball or toy that has crossed the street.
· Children should always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, they should walk facing traffic.
· Never talk on a cell phone while crossing the street.
· Observe all traffic signs.
For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site on Pedestrian Safety.