A survey carried out by the road safety charity Brake highlighted a number of factors which stop parents allowing their children to walk to school. 42% blame fast, high volume traffic, 40% state it’s the lack of safe crossing points and 35% say it’s due to lack of safe pavements. However there’s some steps which you can carry out, to help keep them as safe as possible when they do walk anywhere.
Apply reflective stickers
Children can use reflective stickers to customise their backpacks, which will reflect light from car and bike headlights. These come in a variety of fun shapes and sizes for them to choose from. If they’re going to be walking anywhere, it’s also sensible for them to wear bright clothing.
Never let go
Often impulsive and full of energy, children are known for dashing off and could put themselves at risk. We spoke to Nick Lloyd, road safety manager at RoSPA, who advises parents: ‘For very young children always hold their hand or use reins so that they cannot run into the road.’
Set an example
Children are also very impressionable and will copy the behaviour of their parents and others around them. Lloyd highlights that ‘parents, when walking with young children, should always set a good example.’ He suggests that parents ‘talk to them about safe and dangerous places to cross the road and show them how to cross safely at pedestrian crossings.’