A wise teacher forwarded me these excellent words of advice for keeping young school-age children safe on the streets of New York. I would have a serious but fun conversation with your child about these points. Pose these questions and see how many answers they know, enact the scenes with Lego characters, or have them draw pictures to represent the ideas.
- Teach your child your home address and cell phone number.
- Always wear helmets when riding scooters and bikes.
- Look both ways and hold hands when crossing AT THE CROSSWALK. Refrain from crossing if the crosswalk has a countdown signal and is less than 10, do not cross.
- Always wear seat belts when the vehicle is moving–including adults and children.
- Never text while driving or walking in the street. If kids spot adults texting while driving or walking, they should say, “STOP – I do not feel safe.” In addition, adults can establish a rule where a parent will contribute a penny to a “texting jar” if texting inappropriately. This drives home the consequences for adults and kids when disregarding a rule.
- Put reflective tape on bikes and helmets when riding/using a bike/scooter at night.
- Give your child a piece of paper with your name and phone number to keep in their pocket. If separated, teach your child to ask someone with kids or to ask someone who works at the place you are visiting.
- Teach your child how to make a 911 call in an emergency ONLY. As stated above, make sure they know your address.
I hope this helps!