7 safety tips for kids walking in school.
Photo by note thanun on Unsplash
One of the most difficult things for many parents is preparing for their children to walk to school on their own. They’re old enough and independent but there are so many external factors parents can’t control. Parents allowing children to walk to school depends on many factors like the neighborhood’s safety, the kids’ age, and the distance from home to school. Walking to school can also be termed a healthy measure for children. Here are seven tips for kids walking to and from school.
The buddy system is very crucial for kids walking to school. There is safety in numbers. Therefore, ensure your kid has company while walking to school. This could be a friend or neighbor. The buddy system is critical in providing an extra eye to your kid when crossing a street. It also reduces the chances of your kid meeting people with malicious intentions on the streets. Additionally, the buddy system provides much-needed company to your kid during the walk to and from school.
Ensure they understand road safety
Parents should ensure kids can comfortably and safely cross a street before allowing them to walk to school alone. Street-crossing lessons should be the first responsibility parents give to their school-going kids. Practice with the kids frequently to grow their confidence and skills. The lessons should include safety protocols related to road safety. Among them include the stop, look, listen, and think protocol. Train your kid also always to use pavements or walk paths on route to school. Train your kids to cross the street in marked designated areas like zebra crossings.
Keeping in touch with your kid during transit to school is very important. Build a culture of constant communication and always teach your child to check in with you whenever they get home or to school. Keeping in contact is essential as it allows parents to quickly notice when something is wrong, allowing them ample time for a quick response. Get your child a phone and make sure they can operate it. The kids can use the phone to call for help whenever they are stranded or need urgent assistance.
Use technology to know their location
Parents can also track their kids as a safety precaution to know the location of their kids at all times. Trackers help parents establish if their kids use the designated routes home or whenever they wander off. Trackers are not a breach of privacy when used for safety purposes. Parents can use smartwatches and other GPS tracking systems to get live location feeds of their kids.
Identifying safe routes
Parents should map out the routes their kids use to school. You must ensure the chosen streets are familiar to the parent and children. Kids must also be trained to stick to such routes on their walk to school. The routes selected should be safer, have less traffic, and have minimal crossing points to reduce the risk of exposure to danger. Parents should also ensure that they alternate their kids’ routes more often.
Parents should also train their kids to develop a culture of walking against the traffic flow and sun position for safety purposes.
Put away the electronics
Parents and teachers should train kids to remain focused and alert while walking. It is against safety precautions to use phones while walking or even listening to loud music. Therefore, kids should be trained to keep their electronics away and remain alert to their surroundings. The kids should focus on the road, noting essential details like traffic and everyone walking past them. Using electronics while walking greatly increases the user’s risk and exposes them to danger. Listening to loud music while walking is also against road safety regulations.
Time the walk
Timing the walk to school is very important. During route mapping, parents should note the time it takes from home to school. This is important in planning the time your kid leaves the house for school. Rushing your kids to school is risky because it affects their concentration while walking. Based on the expected walk-time, parents can allow their kids to leave early from home, allowing them to tread carefully and slowly to school.
Most kids use walking as the standard method to get to school. However, kids below the age of ten are not advised to walk alone without the presence of a sane adult. Nonetheless, kids who walk to and fro from school should take note and follow the outlined tips to ensure their safety.