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Once babies take their first steps, there’s no stopping them. Toddlers delight in using their new walking super power as much as possible, and, as kids get older, they crave the freedom and independence of walking to school and playing outside.

As soon as kids are on the move, parents need to start talking to them about how to be safe and aware while walking. Unintentional pedestrian injuries are a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 19. Teenagers are most at-risk for pedestrian injuries, with cell phones and other handheld gadgets often leading to distraction and greater risk on the roads.

Walk to School

Whether your kids are walking to school, the park or a friend’s house, here are a few simple tips to make sure they get there safely.

  1. Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and then left again before crossing the street.

    Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.

  2. Children under 10 years old should cross the street with an adult.

    Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.

  3. Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street.

    It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.

  4. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths.

    If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.

  5. Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

    Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections.

  6. Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers…

    before crossing in front of them and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.

  7. Be a good role model.

    Set a good example by following these safety tips when you are walking with your kids.

If you are in the Atlanta area, join us for the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Digital Dash 5k on August 25th. A signature event that benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Bert’s Big Adventure!

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