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Teaching Children to Walk Safely
Friday, April 27th, 2012

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009, an estimated 13,000 injured pedestrians were age 14 and younger.  That same year 4,092 pedestrian were killed. That year children 14-and-younger age group accounted for 244 of those fatalities.  These children are typically injured near their home or in a neighborhood setting.

Now that the warm weather is here, children will be spending more time outdoors.  So now is a good time to brush up on some safety tips.  Here are safety tips from NHTSA for teaching children to walk safely.

  • Hold an adult's hand when walking.
  • Walk on the sidewalk.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • No pushing or shoving while you walk.

When crossing the street, follow the below tips.

  • Stop at the edge of the street.
  • Look left-right-left for cars.
  • Don't cross if a car is coming.
  • Use a crosswalk if you can.
  • Keep looking for cars as you cross.

Children learn from watching what their parents do, therefore it is important to demonstrate the correct walking behavior daily with your child, pointing out correct and incorrect safety behaviors.  Walking is a mode of transportation used throughout one’s life, therefore helping a child to develop proper safety behaviors and sound judgment while walking is an important process.

For more helpful tips on how to teach children to walk safely, I encourage you to visit the NHTSA website.  The Safe Routes to School Online Guide is also an excellent resource for tips on teaching children to walk safely.

 

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