How do you increase road safety for your children?
The schools are starting again! This means that many children make their way to school or kindergarten again. In order to guide all participants safely through traffic, it is particularly important that all road users take each other into consideration. road traffic still poses many dangers for children. For example, younger children can interpret the sounds of moving cars differently and thus misjudge the different speeds and directions of the moving vehicles. Everyone knows that children are impulsive and have a fairly short attention span. All these factors cause them to be at risk in traffic situations.
How can you make the way to school or childcare safer for children? What learning resources can you use? And what safety equipment do you need?
We’ve put together some tips on how kids can go to school safely. Read on to find out how!
1. Parents and teachers as role models
The most important thing is that parents and (kindergarten) teachers are a role model for children. Therefore, behave the way you want children to behave in traffic.
- Always buckle up in the car
- Check the road thoroughly before crossing
- Do not cross red lights (whether by car, on foot or by bike)
Another tip is, if possible, to go anywhere by bike. This is not only better for the environment, but also safer; fewer cars also reduce the likelihood of car accidents.
2. Learning road traffic
Make your children aware of possible dangers in road traffic! Education about traffic rules is important to create a safer environment for children. Teach your children important signs that are relevant to them, as well as the importance of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. Also about the need for sidewalks and the rules when crossing the street. These things may be self-evident to you, but for children it is a new and exciting environment. Education is necessary for child safety in road traffic. The more the children know, the better they can assess different situations in traffic and assess whether a situation is dangerous.
Tips for learning traffic rules and dangerous situations
- Read books about road safety with your children
- Use traffic signs as coloring pages and explain the meaning of the signs to the children
- But beware! Don’t overwhelm your children. Only teach them signs that are relevant to them.
- Be sure to explain important things to the children on the road and show them how to behave in different situations.
- Explain possible hazardous situations and provide guidelines for conduct.
3. Car safety for children
When driving with children, it is not only important to always buckle up, but also to use the right child seat. Be sure to choose the right seat for the appropriate age of the child. Here is an overview of the recommended child seats to create a safer environment for children in the car:
Infants and toddlers (0 – 3 years)
This age group should only sit in a rear-facing seat. The exact recommended weight and size may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For seats that are only rear-facing, the age limit is often 2 years.
Toddlers and preschool children (3 – 5 years)
For this age group, forward-facing child seats or front-facing seats with belts are recommended. There are many seats that are suitable for children up to 29.5 kg and therefore can often be used for several years.
School-age children (5 – 12 years)
When the children come to school, they may have already grown out of the forward-facing child seats. Always make sure that your child adheres to the weight and size of the car seat specified by the manufacturer. Booster seats or child seat shells are the next level of safety seats. These seats are custom-made to ensure that the seat belts fit the children properly. The belt positioning is optimized because the children sit higher than in a normal car seat. Once the children have reached a size and weight that allows for optimal use of the seat belt, the use of a car seat may no longer be necessary. Always check with the manufacturer of the safety seat and the safety regulations for the car you are driving to be on the safe side The regulations may vary from country to country.
4. Child safety on foot in road traffic
The small body size of children often makes it difficult for drivers to recognize their children early. That’s why the right clothes are important to avoid accidents. There are many ways to make yourself and your children more visible in road traffic.
If you are traveling with children, make sure that they never walk on the side of the street, but always on the other side of the pedestrian path.
5. Safe on the road on the bike
Teach your children how to ride a bike in a safe environment, such as in the garden or in an empty parking lot. Do not let them participate in road traffic until they feel comfortable on the bike and can ride safely. Teach them important signs and rules necessary for safe participation in road traffic.
Make sure that the children always wear a helmet! Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by at least 45% (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 2021). To be better seen by other road users, make sure you and your child are visible. Check that the front and rear lights on the bike are working and that other reflectors are attached to the bicycle helmet, clothing and the bike itself.
We hope these tips will make road traffic safer for your kids! Thank you..