– Talk to your child about what you do before you cross a road.
– Teach your child to use their eyes AND their ears, even if there is a crossing guard, or traffic signals to assist them.
– Teach them to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic.
– When the way is clear, or all the cars at the crosswalk or intersection have come to a full stop, teach children to cross the road, and not to double back or run.
– Children should be cautioned not to cross between parked cars, or in the middle of a street, but at a corner. – In addition, they should treat driveways and alleyways as “mini roads” and watch for moving cars.
– If there are no sidewalks, children should walk in a single file, away from the road, facing traffic. After awhile, all these behaviours will become second nature to your child.
– When not to walk and talk: If your child has a cell phone, make it a rule they do not use it while they are walking, and not while crossing streets. Distractions put children at a much higher risk of being struck by a vehicle. Even walking with a group of children can distract a child from crossing safely, so tell your child to keep this in mind. It’s great to have friends to walk with – but don’t forget the safety rules!
– Be a role model by walking with your child and talking about safe pedestrian practices. Over time your demonstrations will become ingrained. But remember, if you jaywalk or run across a street against a light with your child, you can expect them to do the same thing when they are crossing the street independently.