As a parent, our top priority is keeping our child safe from harm, especially when playing outside. The risk of pedestrian accidents involving children is an increasing concern in the US. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities among children are an unfortunate reality in pedestrian and vehicle collisions. This guide offers valuable and practical tips for maintaining your child’s safety while playing outside.
By understanding the risks associated with car and motorcycle accidents, you can better understand how to keep your children safe. Firstly, children have a limited awareness of danger, especially when it comes to approaching vehicles. Their lack of experience makes judging the speed and distance of vehicles difficult.
Parents should also be aware of distracted drivers, who put pedestrians at risk. This may include drivers who are texting, engaging in other distractions, or are drunk driving. It’s vital to teach our children how to drive safely by being a role model, while also teaching them about distracted and drunk drivers and the risks they pose.
Children need clear boundaries to stay safe while playing outside. Create designated play areas within your property or estate where your child can play safely, without being exposed to direct traffic. Secured playgrounds or fenced yards provide a protective barrier between children and busy roads.
You should educate your child about the importance of staying away from busy roads while playing, and how to cross the road safely. Ensure they understand to look both ways, even if traffic is minimal in your area. Teach your children how to use designated crosswalks and traffic signals too, as these make it safer to cross the road.
They should also be aware of what to do if they lose a ball across the road. For instance, they should know to get help from an adult if they’ve lost a toy or ball in the road, rather than running out after it.
If your child is playing outside in dark or dull weather conditions, make sure they wear bright clothing. This can increase visibility and make it easier for drivers to spot them. You can also add reflective accessories to your child’s jacket or get them to wear a reflective armband if playing outside after dark. By improving visibility, you are reducing the chance of your child not being seen by a car.
Whenever you can, have a responsible adult or older child supervise outdoor playtime. They can quickly intervene and educate children about potential dangers and maintain safety. You may not be able to provide constant supervision, but by noticing how children play, you have an opportunity to spot education or boundary concerns and address them accordingly.
Keeping your child safe while playing outside is incredibly important. By understanding the risks, setting boundaries, practicing safe crossing techniques, improving your child’s visibility, and supervising outdoor playtime when necessary, you can reduce the risk of your child being hit by a car.
If your child has been hit by a vehicle, our team at the Law Offices of Kyle Peiter can guide you through the next steps, including understanding liability and medical expenses.
Find us at 814 S Church St. Suite 210, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Call now for a free consultation on (615) 806-6561.