Raising street smart kids

Raising street smart kids

Baby Steps

Monday, January 18, 2021

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MANY youngsters have been heading back into the classroom for face-to-face classes, and part of preparing them for school, especially for those who have become rusty after being home for months, is re-emphasising road safety rules, and street smarts.

Here are a few, previously shared by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Stop! Look! and Listen!

This is the number one rule when crossing the road. Always remember to stop, look both ways and listen for oncoming traffic. Never attempt to cross a road without first looking in both directions. It is important not only to look for moving vehicles, but also pay attention to parked vehicles and on oncoming bikes and motorcycles. Parents should teach their children this 'golden' rule. As much as is possible, parents should practise the crossing of roads with their children.

Accompany children to school

Parents should accompany children to school until they become familiar with the routes they are travelling especially if it is the first time their children are going to school. Children should not be left alone at bus stops and always make sure they know who to contact in case of emergency.

Don't play by the roadside

Playing by busy roads can be a dangerous practice. It's easy to get carried away when you are engaged in playing by busy roads. This can lead to accidents with children running carelessly into traffic. Parents must make their children aware of the dangers of playing on busy roads.

Use pedestrian crossings

Parents must familiarise their children with pedestrian crossings. Always use pedestrian crossings when possible. If none are nearby, try to avoid intersections and blind spots.

Avoid walking alone

Parents must teach their children that when going to and from school, they should try to avoid walking alone and on lonely roads. Children are especially vulnerable to kidnapping. Children are advised to travel in groups whenever possible.

Avoid strangers

Children should never talk to strangers especially those in vehicles. Try to avoid strange people and vehicles when walking on the street. If you feel like you are being followed go to a well populated area or find a police officer and inform him/ her of your concern.

Walk facing oncoming traffic

Children should always walk facing oncoming traffic. When walking down one-way roads you should be extremely vigilant of traffic coming from behind.

Walk only on pavements

Children should only walk on pavements or footpaths. If no pavements or footpaths are available, walk on the right hand side of the road in order to see oncoming traffic.

Note to parents:

Children learn what they live, so it is your responsibility to set a good example for them to follow. If they see you behaving carelessly on the road, they are likely to do the same. They should be encouraged to obey safety rules at all times, so when walking try to obey the road code as children could be watching you, looking for an example.

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