Safe Kids Oklahoma, led by The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, want to remind you and your children about the importance of pedestrian safety. Whether your children are walking to school, riding a bicycle or taking the bus, there are some important things to remember.
Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States for children ages five to 19. It’s important to teach children at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Remind children to continue looking until safely across the street.
“Teaching children safe practices at an early age will ensure they have the tools needed for a safe future. Walking safely goes far beyond looking both ways before you cross the street. There are multiple distractors that can cause accidents,” said Kim Gray, director of Safe Kids Oklahoma. “Making sure your child is aware of their surroundings when walking or riding a bicycle is an important lesson to learn.”
Here are some tips to keep children safe when walking to school:
- Teach children to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Be a good role model. Set a good example by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking around cars.
- Pull headphones down or turn off the volume before crossing the street.
- Be aware of others who may be distracted and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
“With the rise in cell phone use, teenage drivers are even more susceptible to distracted driving. Parents are encouraged to teach their teenagers to put cell phones away until they reach their destination,” said Gray.
Here are some tips to assist in safe driving habits for teenagers:
- When driving, put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until your final destination.
- Be alert and slow down when driving in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
- Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.
To learn more about pedestrian safety and tips to keep your family safe please, click here.