Child Pedestrian Injury

As spring arrives so does the urge to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. That means taking the kids for walks around the block or to the local park to burn off some steam. But as you take the kids out, remember that traffic injuries are the leading cause of death and a major factor in the hospitalization of children under the age of 14. Many of these injuries result from children getting hit by vehicles.

Here are some interesting facts:

    * Boys are injured as pedestrians nearly twice as often as girls.
    * Lower income children are at greater risk.
    * Children under the age of 9 show little awareness of the dangers of crossing the road. Young children are unable to determine when it is safe to cross the street because they have not yet developed the abilities to do so.

Did you know...

    * Injuries are most likely to occur during the evening rush hour from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
    * Areas with high traffic volumes, higher than average speeds, and fewer crossing signals put children at increased risk.
    * Studies have found that more than half of the pedestrian injuries to children under 9 years of age result from children darting out into the street without warning.
    * Fatigue and lack of attention increase the risk of children suffering a pedestrian injury on the way home from school.

Preventing Pedestrian Injuries

Here are some simple tips that'll keep your children and the children in your care safe from harm.

    * Children under 9 should always be accompanied by alert adults when crossing the street.
    * Teach children to look left, right, then left again before stepping out into the street. Children should only proceed when there are no oncoming cars in either direction.
    * Children should always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
    * Teach children to recognize pedestrian crossing signals. Remind them to continue across if the light changes to "Don't Walk" while they are in the crosswalk.
    * Drivers need to always be alert for children and adhere to speed limits.