Crossing the road and navigating through car parks safely can be risky for adults let alone a toddler. Children need active adult supervision up until 10 to 11 years of age and while your toddler may begin to remember the rules about crossing roads, they are too young to understand them.
Here are some precautions you can take to keep your toddler safe around traffic:
- Always hold their hand when near cars or crossing roads
- Be sure to model safe road behaviour. Your toddler will learn what is acceptable by watching you. Always stop, look, listen and think before crossing the road
- Each time that you practice road safety behaviour, describe what you are doing so your toddler can begin to understand why it is important
- Always use the kerbside rear passenger door to get your toddler in and out of the car
- When getting into the car with a baby and toddler, put your toddler in their restraint first as they are more likely to disappear from your view. When your toddler is securely in, you can put your baby into the car
- When getting out of the car, take your baby out first, then your toddler.
Most toddler pedestrian deaths occur in driveways. Children under two are most at risk of being hit by a reversing vehicle. Toddlers don’t understand that cars can be dangerous and they can move suddenly and quietly. They often play games in driveways despite your attempts asking them to stop because they are engrossed in their games.
Here are some tips to keep your toddler safe in the driveway:
- Fence off a play area separate from your driveway or garage to help prevent your toddler from running towards or behind your car
- Always check around a vehicle before moving a car in a driveway
- Your toddler’s hand should always be held near cars, even if you are only walking to the letterbox or near a driveway.