Walking is not only good for children’s health and fitness, it’s also a great way for them to get around their neighbourhood independently. However, being a pedestrian does involve a number of hazards, especially for young children.
Roads are designed with adults in mind, however children are not ‘little adults’. Child pedestrians are at an increased risk of injury because unlike adults they are less developed physically (e.g. children have under developed peripheral vision until age 9), cognitively (e.g. children are not as well equipped to tell where sounds are coming from) and in terms of their traffic experience.
To help keep your children safe around roads, teach them how to follow the safe road crossing procedure – STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK:
STOP one step back from the kerb, or shoulder of the road if there is no footpath.
LOOK in all directions for approaching traffic.
LISTEN in all directions for approaching traffic.
THINK about whether it is safe to cross the road – when the road is clear or all traffic has stopped.
When crossing, walk straight across the road. Keep LOOKING and LISTENING for traffic while crossing.
For more information on the dangers posed for child pedestrians and how you can help to keep your children safe, please view our pedestrian safety resources below.