Pedestrian safety is always a concern especially, when it comes to children—1 in 6 pedestrian fatalities occurs in children between the ages of 7 and 10. Now, according to a recent article in US News and World Report, featuring a study at the University of Alabama Youth Safety Laboratory, parents of children with ADHD may need to take extra precautions.
The new findings, just published in Pediatrics, show that children with ADHD under the age of 10 may have trouble crossing the street safely by themselves. While these children may look as if they have a handle on crossing the street on their own (stopping and looking both ways before attempting to cross) they seemed ill-prepared to accurately assess the amount of time necessary to safely cross.
This new bit of information means that it is more important than ever to make sure that both you and your children are well-versed in pedestrian safety and responsibility. If your child has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, make certain that you give him or her the extra training and time necessary to build the skills to fly solo. It’s a good idea to let your child practice making the decision on when to cross, while you are present in order to coach them on the proper time allotment to make it across unharmed.
REMEMBER, PARENTS ARE THE ULTIMATE ROLE MODELS WHEN IT COMES TO PROPER PEDESTRIAN BEHAVIOR. THIS MEANS AVOIDING RISKY BEHAVIOR FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AS WELL AS THE FUTURE SAFETY OF YOUR KIDS.
Proper Safety Tips, Habits and Precautions as provided by Safe Kids USA:
Cross streets safely. Cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Do not assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. Walk, do not run, across the street.
Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
Parents and kids should hold hands in parking lots.
Never allow children under age 10 to cross streets alone (If your child has ADHD that age limit may need be raised to
accommodate their medication protocol and their decision making skills.) Adult supervision is essential until you are sure a child has good traffic skills and judgment.
Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
Make sure children know to cross 10 feet in front of a school bus, never behind, and to wait for adults on the same side of the street as the school bus loading or unloading zone.
Teach your child never to run out into a street for a ball, a pet or any other reason.
Make sure your child plays in safe places away from motor vehicles, such as yards, parks and playgrounds and never in the street. Fence off play areas from driveways and streets.
Buy clothing and accessories incorporating retro reflective materials for your family to wear at dawn and dusk, in the evening and during other low-light situations, such as rainy or foggy weather.
Check frequently for children when backing out of a driveway or a parking space.