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Child Safety

Pedestrian Safety for Children

Injuries to pedestrians can be serious and lead to long-term physical and mental damage. It’s important to teach your child the skills they need to keep them safe as a pedestrian.

Parents

  • Walk with your child often and role model safe pedestrian behaviour.
  • Teach your child to recognize traffic safety signals and the signals of a crossing guard.
  • Be sure that your child walks on the sidewalk or as far away from the road as possible, facing traffic.
  • Make it a rule to cross the street at pedestrian crosswalks or corners only, and to cross railway tracks at designated crossings only.
  • Help your child to remember pedestrian safety tips. For example, you can teach your child to:
    • POINT across the road with your arm to tell drivers that you are ready to cross.
    • PAUSE until all vehicles stop and you have made eye contact with drivers.
    • PROCEED with your arm out, and keep looking both ways as you cross.
  • Make sure that your child knows that he or she must never play on the street or around or between parked cars.
  • Talk to your child about being a distracted pedestrian. It is not safe to listen to music, text, or talk to friends while crossing the street
  • Make sure that your child can show you that they know how to cross the road safely before you let them walk alone to school or around your neighbourhood.

Remember

  • Teach your child about pedestrian safety when they begin to walk with you.
  • Continue to teach your child about pedestrian safety as they grow.

Teaching your child about pedestrian safety will depend on their development. Your child’s development will change between the ages of 7 and 14. Keep this in mind when teaching your child and match your teaching to their stage of development.

Did you know?

  • Child pedestrians are hurt more often in September and October followed by May and June.
  • Most children are hit by a vehicle in city areas with heavy traffic, lots of parked cars, and few play spaces.
  • Children who are hit by a vehicle in rural areas are more likely to die from their injuries because of faster vehicle speeds.

If you are a driver:

  • Follow posted speed limits.
  • Be ready to stop for pedestrians at any time, especially in areas where children play.

Current as of: March 2, 2018

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services