At seven years, old your child may still be holding your hand as you walk them to school - a few years later your child may be going to school without you. This guide suggests ways your child can be independent while staying safe.
Knowing the Safe Cross Code
Remember, children should not be allowed out alone until they are old enough to know the Safe Cross Code and use it properly. The age is different for all children but it is generally not before they are eight years old.
When walking along the road
Walking is healthier than going by car. But your child can't always see what you can see and drivers can't always see your child, where they can see you.
You could teach your child to:
- always walk on the pavement or path if there is one - never stray on to the road
- walk as far away from the kerb as possible
- where there is no pavement, walk in single file on the right side of the road facing oncoming traffic
When you are out and about always be sure to:
- explain road safety rules
- use the Safe Cross Code
- talk about what's going on in the street
- encourage your child to talk about what they see on the roads and whether it's safe or not
- let your child make decisions with you, so that they learn through activity
- help your child plan the safest route whenever they are going somewhere
Teach your child to:
- always use the Safe Cross Code
- wait at the kerb by the crossing so that drivers know they want to cross
- at a signal crossing, press the button and wait for the green man to light up and never walk out while the red man is showing, even if the cars have stopped or other people are crossing
- always walk over the actual black and white stripes of a crossing - many accidents happen around crossings
- never cross the road while using their mobile phone or while listening to music on head phones
- stay alert at all times, remember cyclists and motorcyclists use the roads as well as drivers