Center for Childhood Safety Pedestrian Safety
Center for Childhood Safety Pedestrian Safety

Increase in pedestrian accidents prompts call for safety

There is nothing quite like playing outside - running, jumping, and enjoying the open air. Because of the recent warm weather this winter, children have been given more opportunities to play outside, which puts them more at risk for pedestrian accidents.

"Pedestrian Safety is extremely important," says Denise Dowd, MD, chief, Injury Prevention at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. "However, it is very difficult to teach children to cross the street safely and to be careful when playing outside."

Pedestrian accidents have been a problem in recent years. In 2000, 129 children were involved in car/pedestrian accidents.

Children need to be taught at an early age the meaning of various street signs or street lights. It is also important to teach the importance of using crosswalks as well as what it means to be a pedestrian.

Safety Tips

  • All children should cross at crosswalks. A mid-block dart across the street is the most common reason children are hit by motor vehicles.
  • Children should play, if possible, in areas that are far from roadways.
  • Remember, it is important for parents to supervise their children and to hold little one's hands around the street.
  • And, most importantly, even if you think your child is safe to cross the street, BE WARY, children forget safety lessons during moments of fun and excitement.

What to Teach Your Child

  • Define what it means to be a pedestrian. Emphasize typical crossing the street procedure. Always look before you cross.
  • Understand the meaning and purpose of street lights and street signs.
  • Obey all intersections and crosswalks and never cross mid-block.

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