To be safe we need to follow the traffic signs as well as the road safety rules.
Did you start teaching your child the road safety rules yet? NO? Then you are not doing the right thing!
I started teaching my daughter how to cross the road when she was 3 years old and no it is not early. Your child might not be looking both sides and crossing the road at all times when she is a toddler but at least sometimes she will. Being a responsible parent, you are not going to leave a toddler to cross the road on his or her own. So, teaching them at this young age is for them to follow it later in life when they understand the concept and reason for the road safety rules. If you start teaching them early it would be easy for them to imbibe it and follow later.
16 Road Safety Rules
1. Know your traffic signal
Start teaching your child the traffic signals as early as possible. There is a wonderful poem on traffic signals which can help your child understand and memories what the traffic signals and all the 3 lights mean. Kids remember nursery rhymes better and if they understand what it means, they can follow it too.
2. Keep to your left
In India, we keep to our left while driving or walking on the road. Right-hand driving is followed. So, remember to teach your child to keep on the left to be safe on the road.
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3. Only walk on the pavement
Walking on the pavement or the footpath is the safest for pedestrians. Always tell your child to walk on the pavement even when there is no traffic on the road. Ensure you keep the child towards your left even when walking on the pavement. The vehicles, especially the 2 wheelers keep shifting lanes, making it unsafe to walk on the road.
4. Cross the Road on the Zebra Crossing
Zebra crossing is where there are white and black lines painted on the road. This is a place where you should cross the road. The cars will stop behind the zebra crossing to allow pedestrians to cross the road conveniently. While on zebra crossing also, make sure the child or the adult looks both sides, left right again left, and then crosses the road. Cross only when the moving vehicle is far away or the light (signal) is green for the pedestrians walking.
5. No running on the road
Running on the road can be very dangerous. Children do not realize this when they are playing or when they are in a hurry. So, as a parent, you should ensure your child is not running on the road as it can cause severe injuries.
6. Always stay alert when on the road
Make sure you make the child understand that he or she should be very attentive while walking on the road. Children are in their world and do not know how to stay calm. they would be talking, singing, and jumping all the time. So, explain to the child why it is important to concentrate on the road. Tell them they might get injured if they do not look on all sides before crossing, or do not follow the traffic rules.
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7. Always be Careful while getting off the car
Sometimes while getting off the car we forget to look behind. Do not make that mistake. Teach your children to always open the car door after looking behind whether a vehicle is crossing you. Preferably they should get down on the side of the footpath away from the traffic to be safe. Or a parent should always assist them while getting out of the car.
8. Be safe in the moving vehicles
Car safety is a must. When the child is sitting in the car, always make sure the child is in the car seat and the seat belt is fastened correctly. Do not let the children move around in the moving car. It is better not to take a child on a two-wheeler, but in case they are going on a two-wheeler with you, make sure they are wearing a size-appropriate helmet all the time to be safe.
9. Always put your seatbelt on
A seatbelt is a must whether you have a 1-month-old child or a 10-year-old child. Never forget to fasten the seat belt of the child. If the child is not comfortable for a long time, you can take breaks in between your travel. An infant should not sit in a car seat for more than 2 hours without a break.
10. Do not cross at blind spots
Blind spots are the points where you can not see what is coming from behind or from in front. So, make sure the child knows not to cross at the blind spot. Cross at a point where you can see the traffic from both sides. If the blind spot is the only place to cross the road, an adult should always accompany the child.
11. Always be accompanied by an adult while crossing the road
It is good if an adult can always accompany a child to cross the road. If the child is going out on the road on his or her own, make sure the child knows all the road rules and road dangers. Also, make sure the child is old enough to take the decisions to be safe while crossing the road.
12. No using of mobile phone while crossing the road
Mobile phones are the biggest distraction while doing anything. The same is the case when we are crossing the road. So, make sure the child is not using a mobile phone while crossing the road or is not playing with a toy. Even when they are accompanied by an adult they should concentrate completely on the road, and only then they will learn how to cross the road.
13. Slow down at intersections
Intersections are the place where two roads meet. There would be more traffic, so we need to slow down and concentrate while crossing an intersection. Look on all sides when crossing an intersection twice, to be safer.
14. Do not cross between the parked cars
It is not at all safe to cross between parked cars especially when there is high traffic. The cars might move and there are chances to get injured. Also, you can not see on both sides properly while passing through the parked cars, as it makes a blind spot. So, be very very careful while crossing through the parked cars, or do not cross at all.
15. Make sure they are seen in the night
Kids sometimes are not noticed in the dark until a moving vehicle reaches them. Make sure if your child is cycling in the evening in the nationhood, the child is not wearing black or dark clothes, but bright clothes so that it doesn’t camouflage with the dark. The cycles should have reflectors, and the child should be wearing protective gear.
16. Do not rush
Never rush when on the road. Look on all sides twice and then cross the road. You need to show the child how it is done for them to follow. Be a role model to the child and never cross the road in a hurry.
Road Safety While Cycling
It is very important for children to understand road safety while cycling on the road. Children have been seen driving a cycle in the evenings on the road. They should know how to keep themselves safe.
- Always remember to wear a helmet while riding a bike.
- Always ride on the left side of the road (in countries where the right-hand drive is followed) and the right side of the road (in countries where the left-hand drive is followed).
- Be attentive and alert while riding.
- Do not talk on the phone or wear your headsets while riding.
- Follow all the traffic rules and traffic signals
- Avoid overtaking
- If there is a separate lane for bicycles always use that.
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Traffic Signs for Kids To Know
There are 3 different types of traffic signs:
Not all but there are some signs that the children should know:
How to teach road safety to kids?
As we teach good manners to our children, as we teach about safe touch, the same way it is very important to teach about road safety to children as it is for their own good. Also, road safety is taught in many schools these days which is a very good initiative.
Teach your child about the traffic signals i.e. the red, yellow, and the green light. Be an example to them. Make sure you do not cross the red light while traveling with them. Modeling it is the best example for them to learn.
Introduce Stop, Look Listen, and Think
Teach them about the Zebra Crossing
Teach them that they can cross the road only at the zebra crossings. Make sure to look on both sides before crossing even at the zebra crossing. Take the child along with you for the first few times before they start going on the road alone.
Accompany them and keep telling them about the rules and safety
In the beginning when you accompany your child keep telling your child about the rules and safety on the road. Slowly they will start understanding and following it. Do not lose patience and keep repeating the important points.
Kids love to pretend play. So, while pretend playing you can create a scenario about the traffic lights or road safety and play with your child. It would become easy for them to understand and they will grasp it better. You would be surprised to see, they would be following the rules the next time they go on the road.
Take Away Message
Road safety signs, traffic symbols, and road rules are something very important that we need to teach our kids. It is for their as well as the other person’s safety. One day our children will be growing up to become responsible citizens. So, anything taught early is easily imbibed and easy to follow as it becomes a habit.