Nine must know tips to keep kids safe around roads
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Going out to schools and speaking with around 25,000 primary school students each year as part of the RACV Street Scene program, RACV’s team of educators are often asked about how to keep children safe around roads and transport.
So here are 9 tips to help keep children safe.
1. Talk Talk Talk
Talk with your children about what they can do and what you can do together to stay safe on the roads. Every journey is a learning experience, so point out signs, talk about safe places to cross the road and discuss the hazards you see while driving.
2. Know they are watching
Children learn by watching. They adopt our habits, mimic our actions and even copy our language. Set a good example by modelling positive road safety behaviours. Use crossings where possible and obey all pedestrian and traffic signs.
Research has found there are links between parents’ driving styles and their children’s future driving habits. Try to display non-risky, patient and non-aggressive driving styles when your children are passengers. This will help them develop good driving behaviours when they are older.
3. Safe Cycling – helmets, bright clothes, shoes
Wearing an Australian-standard bicycle helmet, bright clothes and footwear, such as runners, will all help keep children safe on wheels. Helmets need to be fitted correctly and are important when using not just bicycles, but skates, skateboards and other wheeled toys.
4. Safe Walking – Stop, look, listen and think
When walking near traffic, hold your child’s hand and choose a safe place to cross. Don’t forget to Stop, Look, Listen and Think.
5. Stay safe around buses, trams and trains
When using public transport with children, show them how to travel safely. For example, wait behind the yellow line at the train platform, and never cross the road immediately in front of or behind a bus or tram. TrackSAFE Education has a great competition for primary school students to help celebrate rail safety week.
6. Safe passengers – Click, clack front and back
Get into the habit of putting on seatbelts before driving off.
And if you’re wondering when your child no longer needs to use a booster seat use the 5 step test.
7. Use the safety door
Always get your children in and out of a car using the kerb-side or safety door – this is safest because you are away from the traffic.
8. Stay safe around driveways
We don’t think of small children as being in danger in such a familiar environment, but children love to explore and can move surprisingly quickly.
They are particularly vulnerable when cars and other vehicles turn in or out of driveways across the footpath. Drivers should always check to ensure there are no children around their vehicle when reversing.
9. Safe travel to schools
School pick-up and drop-off can be traffic chaos!
So think about walking with your child all or part of the way to and from school. Think about if there is somewhere just a street or two away from the school that is less congested place to park and marked crossings where possible.