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.