In 2011, there were more than 4,000 pedestrian fatalities, and one-fifth of those pedestrian fatalities
were children ages 14 years or younger, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Also, in 2010, of the children rushed to the Children’s National’s emergency department, 48 of them were a result of pedestrian struck incidents on school days. More than 200 children have been involved in these incidents since 2005.
Today is walk or bike to school day, so we talked to Children’s National’s Education Prevention Outreach Coordinator, Sally Wilson, BS, RN, to help parents teach kids how to walk to school safely.
“Walk with your head first, not your feet – think about what you’re doing and think about the rules,” Wilson said. Pedestrian Safety:
- Do not cross the street alone if you are younger than 10 years old
- Stop at the curb before crossing the street
- Walk, don’t run, across the street
- Look LEFT, RIGHT, and LEFT again before crossing
- Walk facing traffic
- Make sure drivers see you before crossing in front of them
- Do not play in driveways, parking lots, or unfenced yards by the street
- Wear bright clothing or reflectors when walking at night
- Cross at least 10 feet in front of a school bus
Wilson added that the most important rules are crossing at the crosswalk and avoiding dashing out between cars.
“We really encourage adults to walk safely too,” Wilson said. “If parents are good examples, their children will learn too.”
For more resources and information on safe routes to school, visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School.