Being a pedestrian can be dangerous, so it is important to teach children the skills to navigate the roads safely. Each year over 1,300 children present to the Perth Children’s Hospital Emergency Department for a road traffic injury. A large number of these injuries are to children as pedestrians, either on foot or wheels, which includes bicycles and other small wheeled devices.
Here are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of pedestrian injuries:
- Always supervise children near traffic.
- Adults should be a good role model and demonstrate safe behaviours when near the road.
- Teach children about choosing safe places to cross the road and to stop, look, listen and think before crossing the road.
- Ensure children learn and practise how to use equipment in a safe place away from roads, driveways and slopes.
- Make sure the brakes and locking mechanism for bicycles or other small wheeled devices work before using them.
- Make sure children use protective equipment such as helmets, wrist, knee and elbow guards when using small wheeled devices.
- Ensure children wear bright coloured clothing so that they stand out and are easy to see when near the road.
To find out more about how you can educate young children about becoming safe and independent road users, have a look at the Smart Steps education program
by School Drug Education and Road Aware. This program is ideal for educators of young children under the age of four years old, and provides the skills
required to teach road safety information to young children. For more information visit http://www.sdera.wa.edu.au/programs/smart-steps/.
For more information about road safety visit http://www.kidsafewa.com.au/road or contact Kidsafe WA on (08) 6244 4886.