Tips on Pedestrian and Playground Safety for Children
Created by Anurima Updated on Oct 02, 2020
Children enjoy going to the outdoors. The mere thought of stepping out can get them super excited. It gives them a sense of freedom and independence. Unfortunately, many hazardsare pre-existing and need to be addressed when our children are out and away from gentle care. We may ensure their safety by prompting and inspiring them to follow rules when they are away from home.
Let us take a look at the two important aspects where we need to make our children aware of the safety rules. Pedestrian Safety According to the WHO, about 1.3 million people lose their lives due to road mishaps. When on the road, there are many factors that may not be within our control yet it is our responsibility to help and educate our children on how to be safe on the road.
Children, under the age of 10, may need assistance dealing with traffic, as they are not physically or mentally ready to make crucial decision with regards to their safety. They may need practice and experience to understand the rules of traffic in a real scenario.
Here are some tips to help children understand basic road safety:
- Motivate your toddler to always hold hands(not just a finger), of the accompanying adult when on the road.
- They should walk on the opposite side of traffic, that is, if traffic is on your left, they should walk on your right and vice versa.
- Also you might want to discourage your child from venturing out on the street alone.
- A child above the age of 8 years may be taught to cross a road by looking both sides of the street to check for oncoming traffic.
- They should look left, then right and left again and then cross if they feel it’s safe but adult supervision is still recommended.
- Encourage your child to observe and follow the traffic signals. For example, I have taught my daughter a little rhyme to learn the traffic signals.The rhyme goes like this- Stop says the red, Go says the Green, Get Ready says the Orange standing in between! All she needs is to sing the song and she knows what to look out for.
- Discouraging children from playing near or around busy roads may just be a crucial step towards their safety.
- When riding a bicycle an older and confident child may be made aware of the road rules and the appropriate and safe riding gear. Clothing such as a jacket with light reflector strips and a helmet at all times when on a bike is a must when it comes to safety of a child. You may want to make sure that the bike is equipped with blinking lights on the back of the cycle while the front may have a small headlight (these are found on all bicycle shops and are powered by the pedalling motion) to help the child see the way in darker areas. As a parent you may also insist that your child rides close to the sidewalks and on the same direction as traffic.
Children should be encouraged to be attentive to the things around at all times when on the road. Multi tasking while on the road should be discouraged at all levels. Use of mobile phones, headphones and any other gadgets that may distract them should be discouraged.
Safety at the play ground
A playground is a place where children of all ages congregate to have a fun filled time. While in most communities we see the areas in the playground are divided to have designated space with swings and slides for smaller children while the open fields are left to children who are over the average age of 8 – 10 years. The risk of injury on the playground can be as little as cuts and bruises or even as big as broken bones. When on the playground, unsafe play and playing equipment can be hazardous to the children. With a few rules in places and by being attentive, the chances of injuries can be greatly reduced.
Here are a few tips to help a child play safely:
Adult Supervision: As far as possible, an adult should always accompany children up to the age of 10 years to the playground.It is advisable for a child to be under supervision by an adult even on the playground as there may be times when a child may not realize if something were to go wrong as s/he would be engrossed in play. For example, if a child attempts to go backwards down a slide or even if there is a scuffle between a few children, interference by an adult can potentially prevent an injury.
Rules to be followed when on the playground: To let your child have a safe playtime, you may lay down some rules and remind him/her about them before playtime. The following are some basic playground etiquette which children need to be made aware of:
Always wait for your turn.
- No pushing or hitting.
- Inform an adult if someone bullies.
- No copying other children or attempting new tricks.
- No breaking flowers and littering.
- Only be on age appropriate slides and swings.
Inspection of the equipments in a play area: Making safety checks along with your child to inspect the various playground equipment would help in the child to understand right from wrong.
Following is what you may want to ensure before your child steps into the playground :
- Whether any of the equipments are broken or damaged
- Whether they are firmly anchored to the ground
- Whether swings have enough distance between them so as to avoid collision between two children
- Merry-go-rounds should have handrails so that a child can hold onto it when seated.
- Inspecting the ground or landing area around the equipments. A soft surface, such as packed earth, a patch of grass or any other surface which may reduce the impact of a fall is considered safer than a concrete ground.
- Making sure that the play area does not have open electrical wires, construction accessories or open/faulty manholes.
- Finally it is recommended to make your child aware of what the consequences could be if they used damaged or age inappropriate equipment.
Appropriate clothing: Your child should be dressed in comfortable clothes when going outdoors to play. Tight fitting clothes and clothes with drawstrings and hoods may be of a hindrance and may pose a risk of strangulation. On hot days, hats and sun protection cream may be used. As parents we need to be prepared and lead by example at all times. We can prepare our children on how to protect themselves in various situations by teaching them to adhere the few simple rules mentioned above.
As rightfully said- Safety is as simple as ABC- Always Be Careful!