Seven tips to keep your children safe on their walk to school

traffic safetyDid you know pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14?

Children younger than 10 never should cross the street alone. Make sure your children follow these safety guidelines when walking to school:

  1. Choose the safest route and walk it with your children. Look for the most direct route with the fewest street crossings. Advise them to take the same route every day and avoid shortcuts.
  2. Obey all traffic signals and markings. A “walk” sign is not an automatic “go” signal. It means you have permission to cross, but you must first stop and look both ways.
  3. Stop at the curb or edge of the road and to look left, right and left again for traffic before and while crossing.
  4. Never enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs. Darting into the street accounts for the majority of pedestrian deaths among children.
  5. Cross the street at corners or crosswalks. Make sure children allow plenty of time to cross. Teach them to walk, not run, across intersections. Tell your children to listen to adult crossing guards and safety patrols.
  6. Warn children to be extra alert in bad weather. Visibility might be poor and motorists might not be able to stop quickly.
  7. Demonstrate proper pedestrian safety by being a good role model. Your children need you to tell them and show them how to be safe.

International Walk to School Day

Today, local elementary schools are participating in Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition’s Walk This Way event in recognition of International Walk to School Day. Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition will partner with Milwaukee-area organizations and school districts to walk children to school. Classroom activities also will be conducted to teach children important walking safety tips.

~ Lisa Klindt Simpson, coordinator, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin

A member of Safe Kids Worldwide, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin works to prevent accidental injuries, the leading cause of death among children 14 years of age and younger. The four-county (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha) coalition combines the expertise of community agencies and individuals to prevent childhood injuries through collaboration, education, policy and advocacy initiatives. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is its lead agency.

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