How to teach children road safety

Children crossing the road
Making sure your child learns all about road safety from a young age is key to preventing accidents later on in life. Follow these tips on ways you can help your little ones learn the basics of staying safe on the road.

Hold my hand

First and foremost for pre-schoolers is an understanding of the vital importance of always holding a grown-up’s hand. Reinforce this message by making ‘hand in hands’. Together draw round your hands on card and cut them out. Put your child’s ‘hand’ on top of yours and attach them at the top with a split pin. You could decorate them with felt-tipped pens to look like two styles of gloves. Organise other members of the family, including grandparents, to make ‘hands in hands’ with your child, too.

The Green Cross Code

With young children, focus on the core steps:

  • Find a safe place to cross
  • Stop at the kerb
  • Look right
  • Look left
  • Look  right again
  • If the road is clear, cross – don’t run!
  • Keep looking and listening for traffic as you cross.

Stop!                              

A third of all children hurt crossing the road said they didn’t stop before stepping off the kerb, and as many said they didn’t look. Children love ‘teaching’ teddies and dolls, so get them to do so. Lay a skipping rope on the floor as the ‘kerb’, and quickly transform a doll or teddy into a string puppet by tying a piece of string to each arm and tying the other end to a small ruler. Just listen to your child instructing their ‘puppet’ to ‘stop at the kerb’, which will drum the message in for them.

My song!

A simple but effective way to get children to take ownership of safety messages is to encourage them to make up their own songs – just a repeated refrain and a nursery rhyme tune will do. Try ‘Hold my hand’ to the tune of ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ – repetitive, but it works!