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Pedestrian Safety for Children


Parents are the most important models for children. The Pediatric Medical Center at Northridge Hospital Medical Center provides this information to help you educate your children.

  • Cross the street safely at a corner and use traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Do not assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. Walk across the street; do not run.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Hold hands with children in parking lots.

Set Pedestrian Safety Rules for Your Children

  •  Children should walk direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Never allow children under age 10 to cross streets alone. Adult supervision is essential until a child has good traffic skills and judgment.
  • Teach your child to cross 10 feet in front of a school bus, never behind it.
  • Teach your child to never run into a street for a ball, a pet or any other reason.

 Create an Environment that’s Safe for Pedestrians

  • Your child should play in a safe area away from motor vehicles, such as yards, parks and playgrounds and not in the street. Play areas should be fenced off from driveways and streets.
  • Look around your vehicle for children who may be difficult to see prior to getting into the driver’s seat.

Risk Factors

Children sustain more than 39,000 nonfatal pedestrian injuries each year.

 Who

  • Almost two-thirds of childhood pedestrian deaths occur in males.
  • Four out of five driveway-related incidents involve children ages 4 and under.

 Why

  • The maturity level of children under 10 years of age makes them unable to correctly gauge the speed of vehicles putting them at greater risk for injury and death.

 When

  • One in four child pedestrian deaths occur between 3-7 p.m.

Where

  • Streets, driveways, parking lots and sidewalks are where young children ages 0-2 years suffer the highest number of injuries as pedestrians.
  • 83 percent of child pedestrian deaths occur at nonintersection locations.

Adopted from National Center for Safe Routes to School and Safe Kids USA (safekids.org).