As the name would imply, CarseatBlog’s main focus is on keeping kids safe in cars. But children’s safety extends beyond the interior of the vehicle. With school in full swing and with International Walk to School Day (October 7) just around the corner, this is a good time to review pedestrian safety tips.
According to statistics from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, that hospital saw more children injured by cars than in cars. Between January 2010 and December 2014, the hospital admitted 163 children for serious injuries sustained as occupants in cars. During the same time period, it saw 343 children admitted for serious injuries sustained as pedestrians (and another 62 as bicyclists).
SafeKids recently launched a very cool interactive infographic, aptly named “How to Not Get Hit by a Car.” It’s designed to help children and teens improve their safety as pedestrians.
The main tips:
- Put down the cell phone. Distracted walking can be as deadly as distracted driving, and 1 in 5 high schoolers crosses the street distracted.
- Use crosswalks. More than 80% of child pedestrian deaths are from crossing somewhere other than a crosswalk.
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothes when walking at night. Of teen pedestrian deaths, 75% occur between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Watch for careless drivers. Look left, right, left, and keep looking as you’re crossing. Don’t assume that drivers see you.
- Walk on sidewalks. If sidewalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic, and as far over as possible.
- Watch for cars backing out of driveways and parking spaces. Again, don’t assume the drivers see you.
- If you’re crossing more than one lane of traffic, check each lane. Pause before stepping into another lane of traffic and make eye contact with each driver.
Some other tips:
- Make sure children wear helmets any time they’re on a bike.
- Teach children hand signals for bicycles, and make sure they recognize them even when they’re not the ones on the bikes: They need to know what bicyclists on the road are doing.
- According to SafeKids, children under 10 should cross the street with an adult. Younger kids don’t have the ability to properly judge the speed and distance of approaching traffic.