Traffic safety is a big issue for many parents. Despite the teachings at school, many children remain unaware of traffic as a real-life danger that could affect them. Here are some ways to reinforce the lessons taught during the road safety courses and help instil a cautious sense of travelling.
One way to show children how important it is to be careful in traffic is by showing them. You must lead by example, and while this may mean waiting for a green man who may take ages, even though the road is clear in both directions, it very clearly allows the idea that crossing is only safe when the green man is visible to form a basis on which your child can build the rest of his or her awareness of traffic and the laws governing its comings and goings.
This can become very frustrating if you have to brave a crossing where green men are few and far between, but will provide your child with the ideal opportunity to understand precisely how important that green man is if you are in fact willing to spend all that time waiting for him.
Crossing guards, in the form of lollypop ladies and lollypop men, are available near loads of schools around the country. Teach your child to make use of them every time; the most important part of this is the fact that your child will have to walk home from school, and vice versa, on his or her own at some point – whether in primary school or in high school.
If they are in the habit of using the crossing guard they will be able to keep themselves safe quite well. Pelican crossings and even plain zebra crossings are important tools as well and it is imperative that your child learn to recognise and utilise them. But don’t underestimate the value of being able to eyeball a street and know whether it is safe to cross.
Some pop quizzes during the school run can help your child develop this acumen as you ask him or her to assess the situation on a given street and tell you whether or not it would be safe to cross.
Lastly, while your child is still quite young, you can buy books promoting traffic safety. These needn’t cost the earth and are freely available on Amazon and similar websites, or alternatively in Waterstone’s or your local bookshops.
Charming characters, known from television shows or invented for the books alone, will help your child learn about the right decisions to make where traffic is concerned. Some handy titles include Traffic Trouble, with Bob the Builder, Sergeant Murphy’s Traffic Book by Scarry Huck, and Let’s Go Out, which is an activity book for parents and children to enjoy together.
However, finding a traffic-related book that appeals to your particular child is not too difficult and you can simply dive in by searching for “traffic board book” or “traffic children’s book” on Amazon.co.uk or walking into your local bookshop and asking for help.
Promoting healthy and safe traffic behaviour is one of the most important things any parent can do for his or her children. Be sure your child will know how to remain safe, and start building habits that won’t just last a lifetime but will also extend it.