Since 2000, an average of 355 unintentional pedestrian fatalities among children ages 14 and under have occurred each year.
During that same time period an average of more than 15,500 children ages 14 and under were non fatally injured as pedestrians each year. Other than the streets, driveways, parking lots and sidewalks are the locations where young children under 3 years of age suffer the highest number of injuries as pedestrians.
The maturity level of a child under 10 years of age makes him or her less able to correctly gauge road dangers and renders him or her at greater risk for injury and death. There are some things you can do to prevent your child from becoming a statistic.
Set a Good Example
- Cross streets at a corner. Use signals and crosswalks when they are there.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing. Keep looking as you cross.
- Walk across streets. Don’t run.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, face traffic and stay left.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
Rules for Kids
- Teach kids all of the safe walking rules to follow
- Never allow kids under age 10 to cross streets alone.
- Tell kids never to run into the street for any reason. They shouldn’t chase a ball, a pet or anything else.
- Make sure kids use direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Teach kids to cross 10 feet in front of the school bus, never behind.
- Make sure kids play in safe places like yards, parks and playgrounds. Kids should never play in the street.
- Hold kids’ hands in parking lots and while crossing the street.
- Keep kids from walking alone when it’s hard to be seen. That includes dawn, dusk, the early evening and rainy and foggy weather.
- Make sure kids wear reflective materials. They bounce back light so the wearer can be seen. Reflective materials are found on clothes, shoes, rain coats and arm and leg bands.