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As your kids prepare for the new school year, you’re probably busy shopping for new clothes and school supplies. While you’re busy searching for the best back to school sales, you may forget about the important of safety when your kids go back to school. Even if your kids don’t walk to school, they should be educated about the rules of the road to avoid any accidental mishaps. Before you send your kids off to school, make sure they know how to safely walk around roads and cars. Use these five tips to help your kids stay safe this school season.
#1 Road Safety Tip – Teach your kids to cross the street in steps
Young kids that don’t understand traffic will instinctively run into the street when they want to cross. To ensure that they will be safe when crossing the street, teach them how to walk across intersections in steps. Teach them to first stop at every corner, regardless of what the traffic signals say. Tell them to then look both ways and to be aware of cars even as they cross the street. Do this every time so that it becomes a habit.
#2 Road Safety Tip – Show your kids how traffic signals work
If your kids understand traffic signals, they will be much safer when they are near intersections. Show young kids the basics – red means stop, green means go. Tell them how they know when to walk and when not to. If your child is older, don’t hesitate to show them how more complicated intersections work. This way, they will know where to look for potential dangers as they cross the street.
#3 Road Safety Tip – Teach them to be aware at all times
Walking near roads can always be dangerous. Teach your kids to constantly be aware and alert. Tell them to make eye contact with drivers as they cross the street to make sure that they are seen. Be sure that they are constantly looking for cars and other dangers no matter where they are. Walking while listening to music can decrease your children’s awareness dramatically, so ask them to put their mp3 players away while walking.
#4 Road Safety Tip – Warn kids about parked cars
Kids can be reckless around parked cars because they don’t seem threatening. However, those cars have to move eventually. Teach your kids to make sure that parked cars are unoccupied before they go near them. Many kids are too small to be seen in rear view mirrors which could lead to a devastating accident if your children aren’t paying attention around parked cars. Show them how to look for cars that are about to move and how to avoid them.
#5 Road Safety Tip – Give your kids the rules about bicyclists
Many young kids love to ride bikes. Riding a bike on a public road can be dangerous, especially if your kids don’t know the rules of the road. Make sure that your children always wear a helmet when bike riding. Be sure to tell them to ride the same direction as traffic and to stay towards the sidewalk. Kids will have to learn the proper hand signals for turning before they ride out into the world.
Busy roads always pose dangers to children, but if you teach your kids early, they will quickly learn how to use caution while walking to and from school. Remember to make safety rules into habits so that your kids will instinctively know how to safely handle busy intersections.
[Photo: Flicker use by nateone]