The Best Ways to Teach Children Under 7 About Road Safety

*Guest post
Learning how to use the roads safely is an important life lesson for children. 
For many children under the age of seven, crossing the road is an exciting but potentially frightening experience. With guidance from an adult, they can understand the risks involved and how to become a safe road user. 
There are plenty of ways you can engage your child in the importance of road safety. While road safety is often taught at schools and nurseries, there are a couple of things you can do to help your child to learn about the rules of the road at home.

 The importance of road safety 

Although children under the age of seven shouldn’t be without an adult when using the roads, they are expected to start thinking about road safety and how to make safe choices for when they have to use the roads on their own. 
Here are just some of our ideas on how you can teach children under the age of seven the rules of the road.

 Create a road collage 

One of the best ways to get children under seven years old to engage with road safety is to be creative. We recommend creating a collage with a road map. You can then cut out pictures of vehicles, people and animals from magazines and use them to play out different road safety scenarios. For example, you can show them what a driver in a car should do if they see a man and his dog waiting at a pedestrian crossing, and what might happen if the man doesn’t make sure cars slow down before he crosses. 

Use road safety resources 

There are plenty of resources aimed at children under seven years old on the internet and in libraries that have been created to raise awareness of road safety. You will be able to find apps for children to use on laptops and phones, and games where children have to spot different road hazards. You can also revert to the traditional method of using books and flash cards to teach your child about road safety and the risks involved if you don’t follow the Highway Code.

 Talk about road safety 

Another easy and effective way to teach children under seven about road safety is to talk to them about the topic. Between the age of five to seven, you can start to use vocabulary, such as pedestrians, Green Cross Code and traffic lights, to build up their language about road safety awareness. You can have conversations about the different types of vehicles on the road and which ones are the fastest; how you can tell when traffic is near or when it is coming; when it is safe to cross the road and when roads can be dangerous.

 Set a good example

Children under seven years old learn by example. When you’re using the roads, whether in a car, on a bus, on a footpath or on a bike, remember to follow the rules of the road so that your child can see what you are doing and copy your actions and decisions.

Practice road safety

There’s no better way to teach your child about road safety than to practice what you preach. When teaching your child how to ride a bike or scooter, tell them how to do so safely, including the importance of wearing a helmet. When travelling in a car or on a bus, remind them of why it’s important to wear a seatbelt and to sit in their car chairs. 
These are just some of the ways you can teach your child about road safety. However, the best advice we can offer is to talk to them about road safety awareness and put what you are teaching them into practice.

Author bio: Thompsons Solicitors is one of the leading personal injury law firms in the UK. Our specialist solicitors have experience of running and winning road traffic accident claims for children and adults of all ages. For information about how we can support you after a road traffic accident, or to learn more about road safety, visit our road safety campaign page – Stay Road Safe.

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