Teaching children the necessary safety skills is critical to help keep kids safe as they walk and bike to school. As a parent, you have the most influence over how your children behave on their way to school. Here are some safety guidelines every parent should know:
- Children under 10 years of age should not be crossing streets without adult supervision.
- If your kids will be walking to school on their own, go with them the first few times. This way, you can identify dangers, point them out to your children, and direct your children to the safest possible route.
- When it comes to crossing streets, children need to be aware of all the different ways cars can cross their path. Explain the rules of the road and give them real-life examples while you're out walking together.
- Explain how traffic signals work. Make sure your children know how important it is to cross streets at the appropriate times and in the appropriate places.
- If your kids are biking, make sure their bikes are the appropriate size and have fully operational brakes, chains, and reflectors.
- A child should have a certified bike helmet and know how to wear it properly.
- If your kids are old enough to ride their bikes with traffic, teach them hand signals. Keep in mind that kids younger than 10 years old should always ride on the sidewalks.
- Tell your kids how to deal with strangers and safe places to go if they need help on their route to school.
- Walk and bike with your child often. Remember, they'll follow the example that you set for them. Show them that physical activity is an important (and fun) part of life. You'll also be showing them how to walk and bike safely!