Keeping your child safe around Roads
It is common knowledge to teach our kids to be safe around roads and cars. It is a sad statistic but deaths amongst children are common when the cause can be directly related to being hit by cars. It's with facts like this that careful provisions should be undertaken in order to make sure our children remain safe around cars and around the roads. Some simple steps and advice could mean the difference between having your child remain safe and having them seriously injured in an accident. We have some simple steps for you to read.
School children and injuries
The most at risk amongst children for road related injuries are our schoolchildren. It's a fact that being hit by a car accounts for 1 in 5 deaths amongst our children and this statistic is second only to deaths in car accidents. You should always ensure your children cross at designated children's crossings near their school and never cross the road in an area that they are unfamiliar with. When possible they should always hold your hand when crossing the road and be safely supervised by an adult in their presence. Injuries from being hit by a car are usually very severe and if death doesn't happen then disability is a possibility.
Speed plays a factor
By now you would've seen numerous advertising campaigns telling you of the risk of speeding and especially when it comes to small children. Well it is well known by statistics that even a reduction in speed by 5km/h would prevent one in three pedestrian deaths in Australia. If all speed limits were kept the same then we could also see a death reduction in Australia by 125 which is a large amount when you consider the number of deaths on our road each year. When driving always obey speed limits, especially in school zones.
It is another sad statistic to hear of so many small children and toddlers being run over by their own family's cars in their own driveways but it's a fact that remains true. Toddlers can easily get a run on when they see their mums or dads leaving home and they may run straight into the path of your reversing car. It is approximately one child a week that is run over by a car in their driveway. Always make sure you know where your child is when leaving home and if possible get a reversing camera installed in your car so you can always be sure.
Why do children have so much risk around roads?
Roads are generally designed for us adults as we are the ones who drive on them daily and spend most of our time on them. You should keep in mind however that children are essentially 'little adults' but with just a limited amount of development yet. Some other reasons why children are more at risk are:
- Children are smaller and can be easily missed by a driver's vision
- Children are always moving and hardly ever stop. They may not know to stop at a curb or when a car is coming, hence the risk of injury or death
- Children may think that cars can stop straight away if a person can see them
- Children may not be able to distinguish certain sounds or work out where they are actually coming from before it's too late
- Children can have trouble judging the speed of a car and how fast it is actually approaching them
- Children concentrate only for short amounts of time and may notice certain things and not cars coming towards them
- Children only focus on what is in front of them, not on either side or behind them
- Children behave different when they are around other children and will not pay attention to traffic
- Children can freeze instead of moving out of the way of an oncoming car
- It is clear from these points why we always need to take the most care with children around cars
Here are some tips to avoid car injuries and deaths when you are out and about as well as when you are at home:
- Never put areas in which a child plays in around cars or near a road
- Walk the long way around your car before backing out of the driveway and have everyone do the same as well
- Be with your child at all times around traffic and hold their hand
- Tell them what you are doing and explain to them situations that they may not understand
- Only ever take them out of a car on the side of the footpath, not the traffic side
- Make sure your child knows how to cross the road safely as they get older and teach them to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN & THINK
- Teach them about things such as fast and slow, near and far to help them judge the speed and distances of cars
- Walk your children across roads at their school and have them wait for you at the end of the day
These simple steps can help prevent death and serious injuries amongst children from an early age right up to adolescence and you should always ensure your children are well educated in all aspects of road safety.