Without the right education, young children are at particular risk of injury from road accidents. Road safety awareness is all about teaching young people how to keep themselves out of harm’s way when nearby roads, either as a passenger or pedestrian.
The following guide outlines how to effectively teach kids the skills and behaviours needed to safely use roads, and which safety programs are most effective.
The value of road safety awareness for kids
Staying safe in today’s hectic world is the top priority for any parent. Road safety education is one of the most crucial areas children can benefit from at a young age, learning important factors about their surroundings as they grow and develop key skill sets.
The behaviour of young children depends on the combination of their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive aspects. While their curiosity and fast reactions are positive traits, it can quickly put them in danger around traffic.
Small children need extra care around roads as they:
- Don’t yet have a full concept of ‘danger’
- Are easily distracted and curious to explore
- Cannot correctly judge the distance and speed of approaching vehicles, as they lack full understanding of direction and sound
- Don’t comprehend ‘cause and effect’ around traffic
- Are sociable and see themselves as ‘big girls’ and ‘big boys’
- Move quickly, and can put themselves in dangerous positions
- Are small and hard to see by drivers, particularly when reversing
- Prone to severe injuries after an impact
- Are still developing speedy reflexes
Children’s road safety education for all ages
An effective program for road safety contains several key points, reiterated in a clear manner for small children to remember and utilise correctly. Depending on the child’s age there are different appropriate school road safety skills they can learn, however, there is one vital skill everyone can benefit from – stop at every pedestrian crossing or junction, wait for the lights to go green, and look both ways for oncoming cars before crossing.
For kids under 5:
- Make sure they hold hands when near cars.
- Involve them in choosing the right time to cross the road.
- Explain the traffic environment to them.
- Discuss why it’s important to play in safe places – especially away from driveways.
- Talk about seatbelts, following road rules, safe crossings, and good driving.
For kids aged 5 to 9:
- Ensure they stop at driveways and check for cars entering or leaving.
- Identify safe places together to crossroads
- Teach them the ‘stop, look, and listen’ process
- Discuss traffic lights, road signs, and pedestrian crossings
- Supervise them on their way to and from school
The importance of school road safety
Parents and early childhood educators alike are responsible for effective road safety education for our children. While real-world situations are great for discussing road safety and putting correct techniques into practice, teachers are in an ideal position to use story time, music, and classroom discussion to help them learn about road safety,
From teaching them to wear helmets to the importance of staying visible to drivers, each element of traffic safety will enable them to become safer pedestrians, drivers and cyclists as they grow.
Effective safety programs from Constable Care
Keeping children safe has been the core aim of Constable Care for over 30 years, where a range of excursion and in-school programs educate our young people using theatre, technology, film, and art.
Our School Holiday Programs promote traffic safety through fun and learning, and the ever-popular School Excursions teach key elements of real-life school road safety risks in a secure, realistic environment.
Contact Constable Care today to book a program, or with any queries.