If you think that there is an age when it’s too soon to start teaching your kids about traffic safety, you are mistaken. Truth be told, there is no age at which it’s too early for children to begin understanding the myriad ways they can keep themselves safe whilst riding in a motor vehicle. Pedestrian and bicycle safety rules are other important lessons parents ought to impart to their children from a very young age. In the interest of protecting Canadian kids in all sorts of transportation situations, we are pleased to present the following helpful hints.
Auto safety from birth onward
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one out of 12 North American kids who die by misadventure does so in motor vehicle accidents. For this and other good reasons, it is imperative that parents and caregivers teach kids about passenger safety rules by good example.
From the very first time you take your newborn home until they are big enough for a standard lap and harness safety belt, your child should get used to the idea of being carefully restrained in an approved child car seat. Backward-facing car seats are the right choice for infants up to 22 pounds or until the top of their head comes to within a few centimetres of the top of the seat. As your child grows, they will move through a progression of child seats and boosters until they attain a weight of around 80 pounds. At that time, your kid will “graduate” to the sort of lap and harness safety belt found in Dodge Durango and other Canadian family cars.
Pedestrian safety for kids
As soon as your little one can walk, it’s time to teach them how to explore sidewalks and city streets safely. Lead by example, always looking both ways before stepping into a corner-to-corner painted sidewalk. Never use a cell phone to send texts whilst crossing a street and always listen for approaching traffic.
School bus safety for children
Teach your kids to stand at a distance of no less than five giant steps from the curb when they are waiting for their school bus. Tell your kids to stay in their seats while aboard the bus and to always heed the instructions of the bus driver. These invaluable lessons will serve your child well as they move through their school years.
Upon disembarking the bus, your kids should take five giant steps away from the bus, then turn around and watch the driver for an all-safe signal that allows them to cross the road safely, says The Sun Sentinel.
Spend time teaching your children about traffic and passenger safety when they’re small, and chances are good they will be safer drivers when they are old enough to borrow the car keys.
Anna John is Mom to two kids, a 3 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. She enjoys writing parenting articles, reflecting back on earlier times in the kid’s lives as she writes.