Staying Safe Outside

Road Safety - Older Children

Road safety worries will change as your child gets older and becomes more independent.

As children get older they will be able to put into action the skills you have taught them to keep safe on the road. Your child’s risk of being injured increases as they gain independence and respond to peer pressure.

Dive Deeper

Things You Can Do To Help

When deciding if your child is old enough to walk on their own consider:

  • How old is your child? The tricky decision about allowing your child to walk independently should not be considered until after the age of eight, research suggests that children are unable to judge the distance and speed of vehicles until they are about nine years old.
  • How far away is it?
  • Is the pavement in good condition?
  • Is there a busy road they need to cross?
  • Are there safe places to cross?
  • Are there street lights?
  • Have they got protective clothing?

When your child is independent and goes out on their own remind them to –

  • Follow the Green Cross Code - Stop, Look, Listen. Don’t forget the hedgehogs! 

Top Tips

  • Never assume a driver will stop for you at a pedestrian crossing, wait for them to stop.
  • If walking where there isn’t a pavement (i.e. country road) walk on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic and wear something bright or reflective to make yourself seen.
  • Avoid walking next to the kerb with your back to the traffic.
  • Look out for motorcycles and bicycles travelling between lanes of traffic.
  • When crossing the road make sure you can get to the pavement without having to walk around obstacles i.e. parked cars, road works, skips etc.
  • When crossing at any pedestrian crossing keep looking, it’s not uncommon for drivers to go through red lights.
  • When walking with younger children, keep them on the side of the path furthest away from the traffic.
  • Be aware of the distraction caused by headphones or texting when walking.
  • Keep talking about road safety with your child, especially about putting away their phone and taking out their earphones!
  • By teaching your child to know different road signs and their meanings, this will help them later when they learn to drive.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 

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