Injury Research and Policy Walking Safely Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Walking Safely

Walking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. However, kids have a hard time identifying danger and can be seriously injured or killed by cars. In order to help protect kids, parents should teach them safe walking habits.

Walking Injury Facts

  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 51,000 children are injured every year while walking.
  • More than 5,300 children are hurt enough to have to stay in the hospital.
  • Almost 900 children die every year from their injuries.
  • Nearly 70 percent of the children killed while walking are boys.

Why are Kids at Risk?

  • Young kids have trouble making smart choices about traffic.
  • They often act without thinking about the danger of cars.
  • They may not look for cars before darting into the street.
  • Kids may think that they are faster than the cars.
  • Kids often think that if they can see a car, the car can see them.

Safety Tips for Kids

  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Walk on the sidewalk and use crosswalks when possible.
  • Look to the left, then the right, then the left again before crossing the street.
  • Hold an adult’s hand.
  • Wear bright clothes.
  • Always walk, never run in the street.
  • If a ball rolls into the street, ask an adult to get it for you.

Safety Tips for Parents

  • Teach kids safe walking habits.
  • Most kids are not ready to cross the street without an adult until they are at least 10 years old.
  • Set limits of where and when they can walk.
  • Plan safe walking routes with sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Find safe areas away from the street for kids to play.
  • When driving, be alert and slow down.
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