Teaching Children to Walk Safely

13,000 pedestrians injured in 2009 were age 14 or younger.

That same year, 4,092 pedestrians were killed. Young children accounted for 244 of those fatalities, and were typically injured near their home or in a neighborhood setting.

Here are safety tips from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for teaching children to be safe pedestrians.

Walk safely:

  • Hold an adult’s hand when walking.
  • Walk on the sidewalk.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • No pushing or shoving while you walk.

When crossing the street:

  • Stop at the edge of the street.
  • Look left-right-left for cars.
  • Don’t cross if a car is coming.
  • Use a crosswalk if you can.
  • Keep looking for cars as you cross.

Children learn from watching what their parents do, therefore it is important to demonstrate the correct walking behavior daily with your child, pointing out correct and incorrect safety behaviors. Walking is a mode of transportation used throughout one’s life, therefore helping a child to develop proper safety behaviors and sound judgment while walking is an important process.

For more helpful tips on how to teach children to walk safely, I encourage you to visit the NHTSA website. The Safe Routes to School Online Guide is also an excellent resource for tips on teaching children to walk safely.