October is Walk to School Month
By Jacqueline Khalaf, RN
Injury Prevention and Community Outreach Coordinator
Trauma Department, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Walking to and from school can be great exercise for children of all ages. If you’re lucky enough to live only a few blocks from your child’s school, here are a few tips to consider to make sure your child is safe when walking to and from school:
- Walk on sidewalks when possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Children under 10 should not cross the street without an adult.
- Don’t be distracted by phones and other devices. Eyes up!
- Be aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for loose animals, strangers, and traffic.
- Always cross as crosswalks. Don’t run. You are more likely to fall if you are running.
- Look left-right-left and ensure vehicles stop at crosswalks before you cross the street.
- Make eye contact and wave to the motorist. If they wave back, this indicates they have seen you.
- Consider your second-edge — sometimes crossing happens mid-block instead of at crosswalks, such as between two parked cars. Make sure to stop at the edge of the vehicle (second edge) to look left-right-left again so that you see approaching traffic and drivers see you.
- Hold the hands of little ones when crossing the street. Young children may play or run, not understanding the dangers of crossing the street.
- Make sure children are visible using reflective equipment, lights, or wearing bright colors when it is darker outside.
Source: Safe Kids Worldwide. (2016). Safety Tips. Retrieved from https:/www.safekids.org/safetytips.