*A collaborative post
This September, we started our new school run routine. We leave the house by 8:30am and walk the short distance to Olly’s pre-school which is just around the corner from our house. It’s literally a three minute walk with two roads to cross but we walk alongside three busy roads and therefore I’m very aware of how important it is to drum road safety awareness into Olly.
Living on a busy road, we are very aware of the dangers that it can bring. We have always spoken about road safety with Olly whether it’s explaining to him why we have to wait in our car until it’s safe for us to get out or if we’re waving off family, why it’s important to stay on the doorstep and not near the road.
He won’t remember but when we used to take Mikey, our late Westie for walks we always used to stop at the kerbside and ask Mikey to sit. It’s something we always did and now with Olly, we talk to him about the importance of stopping at the edge of the kerb. On the way to school, Olly will often walk a little in front of me. Sometimes, if the roads are particularly busy, I ask him to hold my hand but we always cross the road together holding hands but most of the time, I’m happy for him to skip ahead of me as long as he stops before the road.
There’s a lollipop lady who stops the traffic for us nearer the school which is a great way to build on the road safety awareness. Olly is always asking me questions about her, why she’s there, does she ever get cold outside and why she makes cars wait until all the people have crossed the road. I love that he’s already asking questions about her and it’s helping to build up his awareness that she’s helping us across the road safely.
There’s lots of ways parents and older siblings can raise road safety awareness with little ones; talk to them on the school run about the cars around them, explain to them what’s happening when you’re in the car and you have to stop to allow people to cross the road and make it routine that they have to stop on the edge of the pavement before crossing. There’s also a great interactive game which raises road safety awareness and you can play it with your children. Answer the questions to find out how good your road safety knowledge is and you can even print off a certificate at the end.
Giving our children the knowledge on how to look after themselves when they’re out and about is fundamental. It needs to be constant and needs to be reinforced on a regular basis. After all, it only takes one second to step out onto the road without looking for life to be very, very different. Stay safe!