Help keep children safe on the roads
With the summer holidays fast approaching, it’s a good time to re-enforce key road safety messages for children. Child’s Eye Media has worked with the Department for Transport’s Think! Road Safety campaign to devise an award-winning film and related activities to help keep children safe on the streets (www.childseyemedia.com). Why not share the advice with your school community?
Thinking about children’s road safety
Developing crossing the road skills cannot be rushed, but should be a very gradual process, carefully managed over the years, and little by little enabling your child to become more independent. Because, of course, of the enormous volume of traffic on today’s roads, it is understandable that some parents try to ferry their children everywhere by car. Sadly, this can lead to some children never learning to cope with roads until they start secondary school, or even later. Lacking in experience and confidence, they can take dangerous risks, with obvious consequences. In the long run, it really is best to try and resist the temptation to wrap children in cotton wool.
Ways to approach your children’s road safety awareness
Hold my hand
First and foremost for very young children is an understanding of the vital importance of always holding a grown-up’s hand. ‘Hold my hand’ is one of the key messages of the Children’s Traffic Club series of books, designed to be used with three and four year olds and their families (www.trafficclub.co.uk).
Reinforce this message by making ‘hand in hands’. Together, draw round, on card, and cut out, a hand each. Put your child’s ‘hand’ on top of yours and attach them at the top with a split pin. You could decorate them with felt-tipped pens to look like two styles of gloves. Organise other members of the family, including grandparents, to make ‘hands in hands’ with your child, too.
Holding hands song
(Sung to the tune of ‘Girls and boys come out to play’)
Wherever we go,
All over the land
We always hold
Our grown-up’s hand!
A third of all children hurt crossing the road said they didn’t stop before stepping off the kerb, and as many said they didn’t look (Child Accident Prevention Trust) Children love ‘teaching’ teddies and dolls – lay a skipping rope on the floor as the ‘kerb’, and quickly transform a doll or teddy into a string puppet by tying a piece of string to each arm and tying the other end to a small ruler. Just listen to your child instructing their ‘puppet’ to ‘stop at the kerb’!
Lay a length of wallpaper face-side down on the floor.
Ask children to draw a pavement along each side of the ‘road’. Add a few small ‘houses’ (e.g. made from food cartons) on each side of the ‘road’, and ask children to draw the driveways leading into the ‘road’.
Using play people and toy cars, talk through simple road safety messages such as the following
- Children must always hold their grown-up’s hand
- Children must always walk on the inside of the pavement
- Children must always stop when told
- Children and adults must be very careful when crossing driveways, when cars can ‘come out’ or ‘reverse’ into the road
Let Teigan help
Children love to watch other children, and you will be surprised at how much your child will learn from six-year old Teigan and her friends on the gold award-winning Child’s Eye View of Keeping healthy, staying safe DVD Plus. The companion films on the DVD Plus are about what to do if you get lost; safety at the seaside; safety with fire and fireworks; and healthy living, including eating your 5-a-day. It is accompanied by extensive teachers’ notes linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, and has been endorsed by the Children’s safety Education Foundation, Kidscape, Fire Kills campaign, and the Think! Road safety campaign.