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Teaching children about pedestrian safety

Children walk alongside roads in Florida frequently on their way to and from school or just playing with friends. Because car accidents involving pedestrians are not unheard of, parents would benefit from teaching their children the importance of pedestrian safety.

Because distracted drivers are everywhere, children whose parents have taught them vigilance may be more effective at minimizing their risks.

Children are at high risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the year 2017, one in every five children under the age of 15 succumbed to fatal injuries after involvement in an auto-pedestrian accident.

Often, children do not realize that cars are much faster and stronger than they are. They may also not realize that vehicles require more time to stop and that just because a driver looks at them does not necessarily mean he or she sees them. This is where the instruction and education of parents make a significant difference in helping children learn how to behave near roadways.

Forming safety habits

Parents should talk to their children about the importance of staying on the sidewalk. When they need to cross a street, they should look for a crosswalk and follow all applicable traffic signals. They should wear brightly colored clothing and refrain from using electronics so they can recognize and hear what is happening around them. One valuable concept for parents to teach is the importance of eye contact. Children should watch for drivers to make eye contact with them and wait for drivers to come to a complete stop before they proceed to cross a street.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also suggests that parents encourage their children to walk with the flow of traffic, especially in places where there is not a sidewalk. When approaching driveways, children should watch for vehicles entering or exiting the area.