As a pedestrian, crossing the street always comes with some level of risk. That risk is typically higher on a busy road, but when you step out into any lane of traffic, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. While many parents might not think about street-crossing safety for little ones, it’s never too early to start preparing kids to be safer pedestrians.
One pediatrician advises parents to start early and to use any opportunity to reiterate the safe way to cross the street. Young children are not yet able to fully process all the cognitive thinking that actually goes into crossing a road, so parents can help prepare them by breaking up street crossing into small tasks. First you stop, then you look left. Next, you look right, and then you look left again before crossing if the road is clear.
Even though toddlers or early elementary students won’t likely be ready to cross streets safely for several years, by repeating the process to them every time you cross, you begin to build a habit in their minds. When they are old enough to cross the road on their own, they’ll automatically put that habit into practice.
The same pediatrician says a good age for solo road crossing is around 10 years old, but he does note that all children are different. Parents should consider the maturity and focus of their child as well as the traffic-level on the road in question before allowing solo crossings. The physician also says parents should talk to children about how dangerous it is to walk near or cross roads while texting or playing on mobile devices.
Teaching children to be safer pedestrians can keep them from some accidents, but no one can stop all bad things from happening. If you or someone you love was injured in a pedestrian accident, consider speaking with a law professional about possible options for compensation that can help with accident recovery.
Source: Safe Bee, “How and When to Teach Your Child to Cross the Street,” Rosemary Black, accessed Sep. 15, 2016
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