Day 3 of 6 Days of Road Safety: Pedestrian safety: stop, look, listen, think

Walking is an important part of children‘s lives.

It is important for their health and fitness, and their ability to get around their neighbourhood and community independently.

Being a pedestrian can be a risky business, especially for children in busy cities.

Pedestrian injury is one of the leading causes of child injury death in Australia. On average 30 children under 15 years of age will die as a result of transport injuries. For each child who dies as a pedestrian, 25 children will be admitted to hospital (8200 children a year).

Roads are designed with adults in mind, but children are not ‘little adults’.

They are less well developed physically, cognitively and in terms of their traffic experience.

For example, children:
·       Are small, and can’t see over bushes or parked cars. Drivers can’t see them easily.
·       Are constantly ‘on the move’. They may have trouble stopping at curbs, and could dart out into traffic.
·       May believe (for younger children) that if they can see a driver, a driver can see them, and that cars can stop instantly.
·       Imitate inappropriate behaviour.
·       Have difficulty telling where sounds are coming from and may expect traffic from the wrong direction. This is true even for older children (aged 11 or 12).
·       Have trouble judging the speed of cars reliably.

·       Tend to focus on what is in front of them. Unless children deliberately turn their heads they may not notice vehicles to their right or left.
·       May ‘freeze’ if they find themselves in the path of a car, rather than jump out of the way.

Top 5 Tips for today and be a #Kidsafemum
1.       Get them to stop, look listen and think. Explain words like fast, slow, near and far. Talk about signs and traffic lights and the safe places to cross. Point out dangerous places and where not to cross – near curves and where things might hide children from view.

2.       Practice it yourself. Kids pick up the good and the bad behaviours of parents, they are little sponges for information so make sure you not only teach them road safety but do it yourself.
You need to role model good safety from the time they are born. They will mimic you later in life – all your bad habits will be seen by all of us peeps!
3.       Hold your child’s hand Always be with your child around roads and cars. They are too young to cope alone – even up to 12 years!

4.       Always cross at pedestrian crossings or traffic lights, wait for the lights, and look in every direction to check there are no cars coming or jumping the orange light.
To help your child understand about when and where it’s safe to cross, explain what you’re doing. Listen for revving, screeching and talk about fast cars and if they can stop.
Just because the green man is flashing it does not mean it is safe to cross.
5.       Start talking about road safety while your child is still in the stroller.
For example, ‘Uh oh, car coming. Better wait until it’s gone before we cross’. Keep talking about road safety as they grow to help them assess risk by asking them things like:
Where is the safest place to cross this road?
When is it safe to cross the road? What do we look for when crossing the road?
What sounds are we listening for when crossing the road?
Can we hear a siren, revving, screeching of brakes? Then what should we do now?
Red means stop but green means go if it is safe.

For your chance to win a Nappy Bag from Moon Mama
 visit the
Kidsafe Qld facebook page under Day 3 Pedestrian safety.

Winners will be announced on 11th May 2015.

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