An important aspect of parenting is teaching children to be responsible and self-reliant. And while you, like so many other parents across the state of Texas, may be at the point where you are considering giving your kids more freedom, you likely have very real and valid concerns for their safety. Allowing kids to walk to and from school and other nearby destinations can go a long way to boost their sense of independence and confidence, but it is important for you to be aware of the many safety hazards they can confront along the way so that you can promote child-specific pedestrian safety efforts at all times.
According to the Safe Kids Worldwide website, kids of all ages are especially vulnerable to being involved in serious and even fatal pedestrian accidents. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that teenagers are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal pedestrian accident as younger kids. And when considering the pervasiveness of the issue, it’s important to note that pedestrian-related accident injuries account for a significant percentage of deaths for children between the ages of five and 19 in the U.S.
Fortunately, there are several practical steps that you and other Houston, Texas, parents can take to help ensure your kids’ safety as they get to where they are going. For one thing, you can teach your young children to always look both ways before and while crossing the street. Making sure that they do not use cell phones or other handheld devices while crossing is also recommended. And given that kids under the age of 10 can have a difficult time judging distance and speed, you are also advised to ensure that your younger children are always accompanied by an adult. For older kids, it is important that they always make eye contact with drivers at crosswalks, and always use appropriate pedestrian pathways and signals.