How to Teach Children Road Safety Rules

By Michelle Kulas
x
x

Each year, cars injure or kill children. Cars can hit children crossing the street, playing in the road or riding bicycles. Show your children how to avoid danger on the street to ensure they are as safe as possible.

Teach your kids the road safety rules when they are toddlers. Instruct them to never go into the street alone. Hold your kids' hands and tell them to look both ways before crossing. Remind them to stay on the sidewalk when you take a walk.

Encourage your preschoolers to look both ways before crossing the street. Teach them to look left, then right, then left again. Have them help you decide when it is safe to cross. When you feel your child is ready, tell him to show you how he crosses a quiet residential street. Stand on one side and look both ways with your child. Send him across, then have him look both ways before returning to you.

Tell young children to cross only when the sign says "walk" and to stay in the crosswalk. Have a child press the button on the traffic signal, and explain what the symbols mean. A white figure means that it is safe to cross, and a blinking or solid orange hand means that it is not safe to cross the street.

Teach elementary school-aged children to ride their bikes on the right side of the road and to walk on the left side of the road. Bicycles move with traffic, and pedestrians move against traffic. Ask your child what she would do in certain situations, such as when her ball rolls into the road or a car suddenly swerves ahead of her.

Point out driving safety rules to your older children. Explain when you are turning right on a red light, for example, if this is legal in your state. Tell your kids when you are changing lanes, and why. Show them by example what to do when you miss a turn or if your cell phone rings when you are driving. Set a good example now to help them learn safety rules before they learn how to drive.

Tip

Making up a song about the rules of the road can help children remember them. Model safety. Your children are watching.

Warning

Do not let a child cross the street unattended until you are sure that he knows when it is safe to do so. Remind kids that even if the traffic signal says "walk," they still must watch for traffic.

About the Author

Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.