From an early age we started to teach the children about road safety. None of the children have been keen to wear reins so it meant we talked about road safety quite early on.
As we have a lengthy school run and nursery is also along a very busy road it means that we have to instill a good sense of safety with the children and now Fizz is 8 and wants to venture out to play this summer it means we will make extra conditions in order for her to go to our local shop on her own. She’s at the age where she wants a little independence and so I need to be confident that she knows of the repercussions of not following the road safety rules. (both for her and the drivers who could get whiplash or worse if she causes an accident by not being sensible.
So here are a few tips that I will be using during our walks or scooting to school.
Look for a safe place to cross and if there is an available crossing use it!
Stop just before the kerb not on it and concentrate.
Look both ways for traffic and then look again. Always be double sure that no traffic is coming your way or that it is at a safe distance to do so.
Look and listen as you cross the road. Your senses are the most important thing to ensure you cross safely.
For my toddlers I encourage good handholding. As they don’t use reins they have two choices – go into their buggy or hold hands. These are non negotiable conditions for them when crossing the road.
Repetitive or reinforcing behaviours is the only way for us to condition how the children behave and obviously it takes time to make anything like this routine in their heads. Be consistent with the language and actions so that they pick up what is expected of them. Of course it’s always nervous the first few times of them going it alone but with good teaching and practice it will be fine!