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Street Smarts: Suggestions For Keeping Kids Safe

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

It’s right on up there with bringing your bundle of joy home, hearing him (or her) say his or her first words, taking his/her first steps and a whole list of other firsts you’ll never forget. And, like most first, it can leave excited and elated as well as anxious and ambivalent (about realizing) your baby is growing up.

From waiting for and getting on an off the bus, or simply playing outside or heading to a friends house, experts assert that teaching your child street smarts is one of the most important safety lessons he or she can learn, especially as they become toddlers, and preschooler, and venture off form the comfort of home.

1. Streetproofing: Informing youngsters about the dangers of daily life they may encounter is among the first steps parents can take in helping to keep kids alert and safe, especially with regards to abduction or inappropriate “contact” from family or strangers. Then, according to experts is teaching children about more common daily dangers such as traffic injuries, abuse by family or friends, getting lost, problems with pets, etc. And, while awareness is not a foolproof guarantee, it serves as an ideal way to alert make children alert and aware and to give them the confidence needed to protect themselves, their instincts, and to speak up.

2. Teaching Traffic Safety: Experts note that this is among the leading causes of childhood injury and fatality. And, they add, that especially due to increased traffic and more major roadways, it’s imperative for parents to emphasize (and re-emphasize) street-safety instructions.

Parents of children under the age of six are not encouraged to allow their youngsters to approach the street without supervision and they offer a variety of reasons including, poor depth perception, and undeveloped peripheral vision. Additionally, they note that children six and younger are also easily distracted and generally can’t see above or around obstacles, can’t read signs or warnings, and believes that if he or she can see the car, the driver must see him or her too.

3. Safety Instruction Suggestions:

· Instruct your child to look both ways before crossing the street.

· Practice looking and listening of oncoming traffic.

· Incorporate safety lessons as part of a game. Consider asking your child to spot a street sign and tell you what it says while you are driving. Also ask him or her to spot dangers, bikes, and pedestrians (including what they are doing wrong) to raise your child’s concentration and awareness of the road, vehicles, and the proper way to cross the street.

Long Island Safety Articles > Street Smarts: Suggestions For Keeping Kids Safe

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