What do children need to know about pedestrian safety?

Safe walking behaviors can be taught as a parent walks with a child or it may be included as an organized training. Regardless of how it is taught, children should know the following:
Children need to know the following points:

  • Ask a parent before walking anywhere without them.
  • Use sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from the motor vehicles as possible on the side of the street facing traffic.
  • Watch for motor vehicles turning or pulling out of driveways.

Children who are old enough and have parent permission to cross the street need to know the following additional points:

  • Safe walking behaviors can be taught as a parent walks with a child or it may be included as an organized training. Regardless of how it is taught, children should know the following:
  • Always look for cars.
  • Choose the safest routes to walk with the fewest and safest streets to cross.
  • Walk along the street safely. This means use sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from the cars as possible and face traffic.
  • Cross at signalized intersections whenever possible.
  • Look left, right and left and then behind you and in front of you for turning cars.
  • Walk, don't run across the street.
  • Cross at signalized intersections whenever possible.
    Look left, right and left and then behind you and in front of you for turning cars.
    Walk, don't run across the street.
    If you must cross the street at mid block
    - Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic.
    - Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
    If you must cross between parked cars:
    - Stop at the curb and check to see if the cars are running or if anyone is in the driver seat.
    - If safe, cross to the edge of the parked cars, and look left, right and left again before crossing.

For information on child pedestrian safety messages visit Key Messages for Children.and for information on ways to deliver the education messages to children visit Strategies for Educating Children

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