10 important road safety rules for your child

Encourage your mini-me to be mindful of road safety…you are taking positive steps to keep your child safe.

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Kids are always at risk when they use the road. Because they are small in size, they may find it difficult to see fast-moving traffic, just as it’s tough for motorists to see them.

In addition, some children are impulsive and have short attention spans, or they find it difficult to interpret traffic sounds and movements, which affects their judgement on how fast the vehicles are moving.

In recent months, several traffic accidents involving children have come to light. For instance, a 6-year-old boy riding a kick scooter was hit by a car near Holland Village in October this year. The dashboard camera footage of the boy on his scooter trying to cut across the road without first checking for oncoming traffic made its rounds on Facebook. 

Thankfully, the boy wasn’t hurt. But this accident shines a spotlight on the importance of teaching your kids about road safety from as early as toddlerhood

Young children should be taught the habit of raising one arm when crossing the road, which will increase their visibility to motorists.

Here are key rules that your little ones should know.

1. Hold an adult’s hand before crossing
Young children under the age of 6 should always be holding the hand of an adult before crossing the road, since kids are sometimes too small for drivers to notice.

2. Know their traffic lights
As soon as your tot learns to recognise and name colours, make an effort to point out to him that “Green means ‘go’” and “Red means ‘stop’” for the vehicles.

Stress that that when the green “walking man” symbol is lit, this indicates that it’s okay to cross, but once it starts blinking, he’ll need to wait on the footpath. The red “standing man” means that the cars are moving on the road, and he mustn’t cross.

3. Use footpaths and other road safety features
Remind junior not to veer onto the road, no matter how much more convenient it seems, even though it’s tempting to take a shorter route instead of staying on the footpath.

Tell him to always take these safer options when possible ― then point out road safety features like overhead bridges, underpasses and zebra crossings.

4. Stop and look before crossing
Your little one needs to learn the importance of stopping and looking before crossing the road as there could be oncoming traffic. The distance doesn’t matter ― whether it’s the small street your child has to cross after the school bus drops him off, or that short walk back from the neighbourhood park. He needs to first look to the left, then to the right, and to the left again. If there are no oncoming cars, it’s safe to cross.

Young children should be taught the habit of raising one arm when crossing the road, which will increase their visibility to motorists. At night, it’s also a good idea to wear light, or brightly coloured clothes.

Since some drivers are inattentive, always wait for the car to stop before taking that first step onto the road, even at pedestrian crossings.