Street Smarts

Street Smarts

   I cant tell you how many times I have seen kids running the streets. Up and down in and out of them. I think it is important that we start teaching children from the time they can walk and talk the importance of street safety. We need to teach them how to cross the street and when to cross the street.

  I have seen parents crossing streets with their children (even in strollers) without a crosswalk and not at a light,  just like its no big deal. We really need to practice what we preach. We are leading by example after all, Right? Not to long ago their was a young child (13 yrs old) and her cousin crossing a busy street here in the city and it wasn't at a crosswalk the car didn't see her and she was hit. Luckily the car was able to slow down a bit and her injuries (even though they were bad) were not life threatening. The crosswalk was at the stoplight less then a half a block down the street. We have to teach our kids to not take shortcuts around safety and the only way we can do this is by doing it ourselves.

  I challenge all of you parents/guardians that the next time you are out for your walk/jog with your kids or without your kids that you don't take that shortcut and you go to that crosswalk or light and wait your turn cause you never know what kid is going to see you and learn from you. Please take that challenge if not for me but for the kid(s) that will see you.

  Back to teaching our children how to cross the street. We need to teach our children that when they come to a street that they choose to cross that they are doing it at a stoplight with a crosswalk or using a sky-walk (if available) or a crosswalk with no light if that is our only choice. When they get to that spot, teach them to stay up on the sidewalk and to Stop, Look and listen for any traffic in all directions (if there is a T street next to them watch for cars wanting to turn as well). If vehicles stop for the light make sure that you make eye contact with that driver and proceed to cross ONLY after double checking with your Eyes and Ears in all directions. Use the Orange/Red flags if available and if there is a crossing guard make sure you wait for him/her to let you know when it is safe to cross.

   We need to teach our children how dangerous vehicles can be if not respected and that they cannot stop as fast as we wish they could and that people cant always see them. Accidents do happen unfortunately but if we can teach our children as much as we can about street safety we can prevent some of them from happening.

  I think it is important to also teach your children to use the crosswalk even on a bicycle and to WALK the bicycle across the street, not ride it. Your child should also be wearing protective gear for the bicycle (at least a helmet) but that will be covered in another page for bicycle safety...

Here is a great little video that I found about crossing the street for you little ones to watch. 
Kinda catchy I might add. HAHA

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