Now that the colder weather is upon us, our children need to be even more aware of safe walking practices. Children under the age of nine should be accompanied by adults or older children when crossing the street. At this age, their judgment and perceptual skills are still immature, yet they often eagerly try to cross streets on their own in order to demonstrate some independence. Teach your children the rules of the road - start when they're young. Think of it as gradually training your children about safety until all the connections are in place. By the time your child reaches age nine and can act independently, the road safety rules will be second nature.
- Teach children how to cross the street safely. Teach them to stop (before stepping onto the road), look left, right and left again, and listen for traffic before stepping out into the street. Teach children to wait until the street is clear and to keep looking until they have crossed the street. They should also look the driver in the eye before crossing.
- Teach children to recognize pedestrian crossing signals but not rely on them. Before crossing, children should also be sure the traffic has stopped. Remind them to continue across if the light changes to "Don't Walk" while they are in the crosswalk.
- Teach children to be extra alert when crossing at a corner with no traffic lights.
- Teach your children to stop at driveways, alleys and areas without curbs and to never run out onto the street.
- Teach children about the dangers of crossing the street between parked cars or when not at a corner. Children should cross only at corners and pedestrian crosswalks, not diagonally or between parked cars.
- Teach children to respect the role of the crossing guard and to understand his/her signals.
- Teach children that wherever possible they should walk on the sidewalk. In areas without sidewalks, teach children to walk as far away from the road as possible, facing approaching traffic (when there is no choice but to walk on the road).
- Teach children that playing games at railway crossings or around trains can be deadly. Teach children that the only way to cross railway tracks is to use designated railway crossings.
Follow the same rules that you want your child to follow. You may want to cut across the street in the middle of the block, but you want your child to learn to cross at the intersection. Be a good role model.
Reprinted with the permission of Safe Kids Canada. Visit www.safekidscanada.ca for more safety tips on keeping children safe.
Please review the Allenby School Handbook with your child if he/she is not using the School Agenda in class. Thank you
Allenby School Handbook.docx