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Paying attention to kids in traffic

Children’s minds are tabula rasa and you need to explain every new concept to them, even before they face it. If you are a caring parent, taking your child to school every day, you need to teach them some basic road safety before they hit the road.

                Why kids are critical participants in traffic:

  • Only focus on one thing at a time
  • Easily lose focus and get distracted
  • Less predictable
  • Cannot orientate easily
  • Cannot connect sounds with objects in motion that easy
  • Do not understand road safety well
  • Not able to identify safe places
  • Not aware of their actions (such as when hitting a ball into a dangerous area)

These and many more are only some of the reasons why children need your help in understanding basic rules about traffic safety.

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                Teach them basic road safety rules

Age plays a crucial role in explaining your kids basic safety rules. With young kids who are only starting to roam the Earth, road safety will be an abstract a term, so much that you are going to have to present it differently. As they grow older, you will finally be able to explain the full picture, but for now you can teach your child to obey basic traffic signals.

Traffic lights and zebras are the first things they should know, and you can even employ learning signage via games such as “I spy”, or invent one such as “Guess what this sign is about”. When they guess right, you can praise them and reinforce them positively, so that they connect this learning process with positive feelings.

                Start developing awareness

No matter the age, your kids need to be aware of the dangers road traffic can pose on them, and others. First of all, teach them that they should not play near the road, especially with a ball or some other rolling object that can easily end up in front of a moving vehicle.

Kids cannot identify from where a sound is coming, and the odds are that they are not even going to be aware of cars until they face them straight up. This is why you need to teach them to open their eyes and listen for sounds. Make sure that they can differentiate different sounds, such as a starting engine, or the squeaking of brakes.

                Do not forget about teenagers!

Even though they are older, teenagers are still a critical group which can cause many problems in traffic. Their mood changes and general unpredictability of their actions is what makes them vulnerable, even as drivers. No matter if they already have a driver’s licence, when on foot, they still present a potential problem for all participants in traffic.

Educate teenagers about road safety even outside of the driving licence classes. Teaching your kids how to drive is the ideal time and place to make them become aware of their actions when on the road, even when they are not the person sitting in front of the wheel. Driver courses offer safe driving lessons from which they can learn about pedestrian and driver safety through great examples.

                Be a good example

Your kids will probably mimic every move you make, which is why it is very important to be a good model for them. When driving, make sure to obey all traffic rules, and when walking, never ever skip a pedestrian, even if it is very distant from your desired destination. Take frequent walks with your kids and explain the basics of road safety, and then show them so that they can learn from experience.

Experience is the key in learning, so the next time you spot a critical situation or a near miss, make sure to stop and explain your child what has happened or could have happened, and with what consequences.

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