Safe Steps: Teaching Kids the Art of Pedestrian Safety
It's time to put on our imaginary "pedestrian superhero" capes and embark on a mission to make our streets safer, one adorable little step at a time! Let's talk all things road safety for kids.
We love and encourage outdoor adventures! Exploring the neighbourhood on foot is essential for a happy community and a healthy mind and body. Whether it's a quick stroll to the local park or a daring expedition on a road less travelled, it's crucial that our pint-sized pedestrians understand road safety rules.
Tiptoe Giants’ song, Hand to Hold, merges safety and fun all in one! This jazzy tune covers the key pedestrian rules for kids. It's playful and catchy, and features piano and piano-accordion by the talented composer for Bluey, Joff Bush (sooooo cool!).
Let’s go through the road safety rules for kids together.
Rule 1: Stand back and wait - even when running late!
Patience has never been more important. Modeling patience is the best way for children to learn this important skill. So, when walking (or driving), take a deep breath and practice patience. Comment aloud about how you’re waiting patiently until it is safe to act, even when being patient feels tricky.
When waiting to cross, it’s important to stand back from the curb, especially at corners. A side-swiper may be just around the bend!
Rule 2: Wait where the road is straight
If there is not a designated pedestrian crossing, find a straight piece of road to cross at.. This gives a better line of sight for pedestrians and drivers alike. Teach kids to evaluate their surroundings from a young age. It will pay dividends when it's finally time for them to take that scary step towards independence.
Rule 3: Focus and Concentrate
Responsible pedestrians need focus and concentration. Kids should always be encouraged to take in their surroundings, stay alert and make assessments about their safety. Teach children to check driveways when walking or riding. Commentate about your own evaluations and precautions to help model this important practice.
Rule 4: Look and listen to spy if anything is driving by
Our eyes and ears are our superpowers. Be like a detective. Look both ways, and listen for the sound of cars in the distance to help make superhero decisions!
Rule 5: Always walk not run… even when you’re having fun!
Being out and about it exciting. Its tempting for little legs to run, ride and play on the sidewalk. Do so with caution, and never too close to the road. Kids are unpredictable. they are still learning to assess when and how to brake safely and reliably.
Teach kids to cross the road in a brisk walk. While it’s important not to dawdle, it’s just as important not to run. Running increases the chance of tripping, which can lead to unthinkable danger.
Rule 6: If my ball rolls away… STOP and STAY
Is it just me, or does the sight of a ball rolling out of a child’s hands and into the road cause you to break out in hives? Children are still developing their impulse control. Sadly, accidents occur even when a child has been taught not to go after a ball or object in the road, due to poor impulse control.
Drill in this message! Kids should Never EVER retrieve something that’s fallen into the road. They should always stop, stay and wait for an adult to assist.
Rule 7: Check left and right, even at a traffic light
Look Right. Left. Right (if you're in a country that drives on the left side of the street. Look Left, Right, Left, if drivers travel on the right side of the road). Looking both ways is essential, even when crossing at a pedestrian light or zebra crossing. Better safe than sorry!
Rule 8: I Need a Hand to Hold!
Sing it! Say it! Do it!
“I need a hand to hold” is a quick and easy phrase for both adults and children to use to remember to reach for each other's hands before crossing the road. Every time you cross the road together, say the phrase, "I need a hand to hold". Before you know it, it will become second nature, and a pedestrian superpower for our kiddos to live by.
With these 8 important pedestrian rules under our kids' belts, it’s time to lace up the speakers and embrace the adventures awaiting our little explorers. The kids music song, Hand to Hold is a proven and helpful way to reinforce key safety messages. It also adds joy when teaching out little walkers how to navigate the urban jungle safely.
By instilling these pedestrian rules, we are ensuring that our kids can hop, skip, and jump their way through life, safe on the footpaths! Together, let's make our streets a safer place, one tiny step at a time!
“When we’re careful on our feet, it’s sunny on both sides of the street”
Stream Hand to Hold and add it to your playlists: Click to find Hand to Hold on your preferred streaming platform
Resources to learn more about Road Safety: