Teaching toddlers road safety

With another child killed crossing a road this week, remember the importance of road safety

Image Thinkstock

Learning how to cross a road safely is an important life lesson for all toddlers. Here are some ways you can ensure your toddler learns good road safety.

It’s one of those habits we set up for life, along with brushing teeth and eating fruit and vegetables. Helping our kids learn about road safety starts as soon as we leave the house for a walk around the local neighbourhood or cross a road while out shopping. It can even begin earlier, when they are still in a stroller and we talk to them about the car that’s coming, and how we wait for it to pass by before walking on.

The way we behave in relation to using roads safely will influence our kids well beyond when they’ve stopped holding our hands to cross the road. Kids don’t have the skills to cross a road by themselves until they are at least 10, and most safety organisations say to hold their hand when near traffic until they’re eight. In the meantime, you’ve got to teach them how to behave safely around streets and cars – and that means leading by example.

Crossing roads
Always get a child to hang on to you, or a stroller or your bag whenever you’re near a road or traffic. And always cross at sensible places – for example, walk a bit further down the street to use the available pedestrian crossing or cross at the lights. Trying to scramble across a road with prams and kids in tow is not only a bad example for your children, it’s dangerous, too.

Car seat safety

Cars
Teach your kids to only ever get out of a car on the kerb side. And hang onto their hands whenever cars are near, even in your own yard. One in 10 kids hit by a car is in their own driveway.

Out and about
Walking through the streets is a good opportunity to adopt smart road practices and talk about why you are doing so. Stop at driveways to make sure there are no cars coming, and don’t let your kids run ahead of you – cars could be reversing out of driveways.

Clear rules
Devise simple and clear rules that your kids understand in relation to road safety. And don’t forget to praise and encourage them when out and about, especially when they’ve done something right.

Talking teaches
Crossing roads is something we do every day, so all the things we consider before stepping off the kerb are automatic to us. But it’s not to our kids. Talking them through what’s going on in our heads will give them early signals to be cautious around roads and to take care when cars are about. Even if they aren’t going to be crossing roads alone for some years to come, you will still be instilling in them safe road practices by talking through what you are doing.

1:0PM, Apr 17th 2014

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • Shout-out to the sleep-deprived mamas. May tonight be one night closer to an uninterrupted night's sleep 😴😁😘

    mother and baby Shout-out to the sleep-deprived mamas. May tonight be one night closer to an uninterrupted night's sleep 😴😁😘

    More from the team
  • We love baby bumps! This preggo belly and funky tracky dacks belong to @mrs_paulie_ There's a tiny human in there ☺️👌🏼😘

    mother and baby We love baby bumps! This preggo belly and funky tracky dacks belong to @mrs_paulie_ There's a tiny human in there ☺️👌🏼😘

    More from the team
  • We love this sweet moment of Lauren from @huntersandheels and her baby boy. Adorable 😍❤️👌🏼

    mother and baby We love this sweet moment of Lauren from @huntersandheels and her baby boy. Adorable 😍❤️👌🏼

    More from the team
  • Watching the innocence of your sleeping babies with their tiny snores and soft skin... Is there anything sweeter? 🎀💞👶🏼 image by @dearestdaughters

    mother and baby Watching the innocence of your sleeping babies with their tiny snores and soft skin... Is there anything sweeter? 🎀💞👶🏼 image by @dearestdaughters

    More from the team
  • I want my kids to remember me for warm cuddles and reading story books together. You? - Fiona

    mother and baby I want my kids to remember me for warm cuddles and reading story books together. You? - Fiona

    More from the team
  • Congratulations to Home & Away's Emily Symons on the birth of her baby boy. All reports are that mum and Bub are doing well 💙👶🏼🍼

    mother and baby Congratulations to Home & Away's Emily Symons on the birth of her baby boy. All reports are that mum and Bub are doing well 💙👶🏼🍼

    More from the team
  • Have you grabbed your copy of the latest Mother & Baby magazine? It's packed with loads of parenting tips for babies & toddlers including gorgeous fashion pages for your little one 😘👌🏼❤️ via @laceylaneinsta

    mother and baby Have you grabbed your copy of the latest Mother & Baby magazine? It's packed with loads of parenting tips for babies & toddlers including gorgeous fashion pages for your little one 😘👌🏼❤️ via @laceylaneinsta

    More from the team
  • We've watched her belly grow and GROW and now this gorgeous mum is about to pop. Lauren from Mad Max Mum (formally The Preggo Diaries) @___laurenkate is 39 weeks pregnant and oh-so-ready to meet her little man ❤️👌🏼😍

    mother and baby We've watched her belly grow and GROW and now this gorgeous mum is about to pop. Lauren from Mad Max Mum (formally The Preggo Diaries) @___laurenkate is 39 weeks pregnant and oh-so-ready to meet her little man ❤️👌🏼😍

    More from the team
  • Check out these cutie pies! They look like they've had a great weekend 😍👌🏼😘 via @allaboutnell

    mother and baby Check out these cutie pies! They look like they've had a great weekend 😍👌🏼😘 via @allaboutnell

    More from the team
  • Happy Sunday! Have you got a fun day planned with your kids? 👍🏻

    mother and baby Happy Sunday! Have you got a fun day planned with your kids? 👍🏻

    More from the team