Road Safety is something that every child should know. Road related accidents are largely avoidable with the correct education and caution taken around roads. For toddlers, it is important to be vigilant, and keep the education fresh in their minds to assure they remain cautious and careful around roads.
When your child transitions from a pushchair to walking alongside you, it is important to reiterate that they should always be holding the hand of an adult that they know. It is also a good precaution to keep your child on the side furthest away from the road, meaning that if they trip or do let go of your hand, they are still away from the passing traffic. If your child is likely to pull away from you for one reason or another, it might be a good idea to use safety reigns or a wrist strap.
It is also important to keep language simple, and to always explain what each word means. For example, when talking about the kerb, it would help to point it out to your child. Pointing out directly what words mean is the most affective way of making sure children learn vocabulary. Doing this several times may be necessary, but it will help your child remember. As part of this, make sure that your child learns quickly to distinguish the difference between the road and the path, and that one is for cars, and one is for pedestrians.
Crossings, both zebra and pelican need to be taught in a way that your child can understand. It could be useful to turn it into something that they find more fun. This could be turning it into a game, or even something as simple as letting your child press the button can make crossing the road more engaging for children. By making the safety measures something that they enjoy doing, it will become much more of a habit for them rather than something they feel like they have to do.
Wearing brighter colours that are better seen at night is also a good concept to introduce early. Reflective strips can be added to backpacks or on the sleeves of coats. This is particularly helpful if you are walking your child home in the evening as it’s starts to get darker as winter comes.
This is also a good age to introduce stop, look, and listen. This simple three word phrase is something you can get your child to recite back to you as you cross, to make sure that they are learning it. As part of this, it is good to teach them to cross at safe spaces. As they learn, it would be useful to have your child try to point out places where you should cross. If they point to somewhere that would be dangerous, explain to them why you won’t be crossing there, and ask them to look for somewhere else.
Road safety is a key skill. The earlier a child learns it, the easier they will find it to follow the rules of the road. As long as you follow the basics, your child will soon be a safe pedestrian!