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Make Sure Kids Follow Important Safety Rules When Walking

Mom and child crossing the street.Walking is great exercise and can be a safe and healthy way to get around if parents take some simple precautions:

  • Teach kids to cross the street only at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Crossing at midblock, walking out from between parked cars, or doing other things drivers don’t expect dramatically increases the risk that a child will be struck by a car.
  • Show kids how to look left, right and left again when crossing the street; tell them to keep looking as they cross. Kids should walk, not run, across the street.
  • Children may believe that if they see a car, the driver sees them. Instruct kids to try and make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of cars.
  • Children and adults should walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
  • Teach kids to look for cars turning into or backing out of driveways.
  • Kids under age 10 should never cross streets alone. Younger kids have trouble judging the speed of oncoming vehicles and making decisions about when it is safe to cross.
  • Choose routes that include the fewest number of street crossings.
  • Teach kids they should never run out into the street for a ball, a pet, or any other reason.
  • Be a good role model. Kids pay as much attention to what you do as what you say, so follow the same rules you expect your kids to follow.
  • As a driver, check carefully for children whenever you back out of a driveway.