As the evenings draw in, it can be a shock to look up and realise that suddenly, it’s dark. In fact, most afternoons this week I’ve looked up from my desk at nursery pick-up time and been shocked to notice it’s almost dark at 4pm. By the time S and I have had a little wander around the shops and headed home, the street lamps are on and it is properly dark.
S knows that she must hold my hand when we cross the road or are near traffic, but sometimes her excitement gets the better of her and she wants to run off to see what’s going on elsewhere. I try to keep her aware of road safety by ensuring I make a point of stopping at the side of the road to check it’s safe – even if I can clearly see the road is empty of cars. She “helps” me to cross some of the smaller, one-way streets near our house by looking to see if a car is coming.
Here are some other simple things parents can do to help children to remain safe while out and about:
- Point out hidden entrances or driveways when walking on pavements; make sure they’re aware that a car could be reversing out of them.
- Make sure children walk on the inside of the pavement, away from traffic.
- When crossing, choose a safe place and time. Wherever possible, use a pedestrian or patrolled crossing.
- Avoid crossing between parked cars – this is dangerous for all of us, but especially children who often can’t be seen above the bonnet of the parked car by oncoming drivers.
- Make a point of stopping at the curb and looking both ways, as well as listening for traffic before crossing. Even a pedestrian crossing can be dangerous if care is not taken.
- Wait on the pavement until all traffic coming from both directions has stopped. This is the safest time to cross. Where there is an island in the middle of the road, treat each half as a separate crossing.
- Avoid allowing children to play near busy roads; they can easily forget where they are and chase off after a ball or toy in the wrong direction.
Do you have any other road safety tips? I’d love to hear them!