How to Teach Crosswalk Safety to Kids

The roads are never a safe place for children, and the statistics today are more frightening than ever before. Whether your child is walking to the neighborhood park, a friend’s house or to the school bus, it is important to teach basic traffic safety. After all, as a parent, it is impossible for you to be everywhere that your child might choose to walk to!

How to Teach Crosswalk Safety to Kids
"Traffic safety class" by Jennifer Murawski is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Be Alert & Aware, Avoid Distractions

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Despite being careful, a minor slip in the driver’s concentration can lead to a fatality. Also, children are not as adept at judging distances and speed of vehicles as adults are. This makes the need to be alert and aware of traffic safety that much more important, especially for kids. It is important for them to understand basic street safety as soon as they reach the age of walking around in neighborhood streets unaccompanied. The best way to teach them to is to hold their hands and walk them through the process.

Crosswalk Safety Tips for Kids

The following tips will help you teach the basics of crosswalk safety to your kids:

  • Sidewalks, Please: Make it clear to your child that walking in the street is completely unacceptable. Sidewalks are made for pedestrian use, so be sure to have your kids utilize them at all times. Teach kids to be a careful pedestrian by making sure they always stick to the sidewalks, even if traffic doesn’t look too heavy.
  • Pedestrian Crossings Only: No matter what the emergency (spotting a friend or a family member on the road), it is not advisable to dash from one side of the street to the other, unless there is a crosswalk. It is essential that kids use traffic signals and crosswalks whenever crossing a street.
  • To Walk or Not to Walk: Though drivers are supposed to halt at crosswalks, not all of them do. Teach your child to be a careful pedestrian by letting them know that it is only safe to cross when the signal says ‘Walk.’
  • Left, Right, Left: Teach your child to look on both sides of the street before crossing, as well as to keep an eye out for cars that are backing or turning. The general rule of looking left, then right and then left again is a great way to teach basic crosswalk safety to your kids and keep them safe when crossing the street.
  • Wait and Make Eye Contact: Teach your child to be a good pedestrian and wait at a crosswalk for vehicles to come to a complete halt. Making eye contact with the driver before or during crossing is also a good crosswalk safety tip for pedestrians.
  • Toe the Line – Teach your child how to be a mindful pedestrian by informing them to stay within the lines of the crosswalk while crossing the street. If there are too many people crossing at the same time, kids should practice crosswalk safety by patiently follow the others instead of trying to push past them beyond the lines.
  • No Music, No Cellphones: A street is not the place where anyone can afford to let their guard down. Talk to your child about being a safe pedestrian and the hazards of walking the streets wearing their headphones (not being able to hear an approaching vehicle) or talking to/chatting with someone on the phone. One must be alert and completely aware of their surroundings and avoid any kind of distraction.



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