Basic road safety rules should never be taken for granted. Parents need to instill in children the importance of playing safe when on the road.
How often do we sit with our children and explain to them about being cautious or safe? Parents today are so busy trying to provide the best for their children that they often overlook some of the more important aspects of parenting – like road safety. Basic road safety rules have been taken for granted. We see more and more little children playing by the roadside without proper adult supervision. Here are some important guidelines that can help you keep your child safe:
Teach your children that it is safer to stand on the pavement before crossing and not on the side of the road. Always ensure that your child is supervised by an adult when on the road and that his/her hand is held firmly by an adult. Remember, children below the age of 10 are incapable of crossing the road safely on their own as they cannot judge speed, the distance of approaching vehicles and the direction of sounds accurately compared to adults. Parents should teach children to recognize overhead bridges, zebra crossings and traffic light junctions as safe areas to cross. Crossing at dangerous points of the road can cause tragedy.
If your child has to walk home alone after school, tell him/her to walk facing the traffic. This will make it easier for the child to anticipate approaching danger.
Never allow your child to play on the road. The road is not a playground. Children often get too engrossed with the games that they are playing and may not notice approaching vehicles. Also children who live near busy roads or frequently-used roads need to be brightly dressed to increase their visibility to other road users. To ensure that children are safe in your car, always ensure they are securely strapped in an appropriate child seat or a seat belt. Use the child lock or window lock provided in most cars to ensure the safety of your child and to avoid any untoward accidents such as accidental opening of the door or windows.
Children may not want to abide by these rules at the beginning. However, with a little persuasion from adults, children can learn to be safe on our roads. Role playing at home on road safety etiquette may be a good way to impart knowledge on road safety to our children. Your living room can be the training ground for a safer tomorrow.