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What to tell children about road safety

The road is certainly a dangerous place for children. While life in general has gotten much safer for kids over the last two hundred years, the invention of the car really put them at risk. Many kids get hit every year and suffer serious injuries. Some pass away.

These accidents can be prevented, and it starts with parents. Here are some things to tell kids about being safe near the road.

  • If an adult ever tells them to stop, they must stop right away, even if they think it is safe to cross.
  • They always need to look both ways. Really, they should look three times, ending by looking back in the initial direction.
  • Young kids should never go into the street unless they are with an adult.
  • Some areas are safer for crossing than others, including crosswalks, pedestrian bridges and light-controlled intersections.
  • Kids should wear bright, reflective clothes if they'll be spending a lot of time near the road. Visibility makes a difference.
  • Kids need to listen as well as look. This means they should not be talking to friends or listening to headphones when crossing.
  • Children need to refrain from running into the road for any reason. They should always slow down, look both ways, and walk into the street. Even a lost toy -- a ball bouncing into the road -- is no reason to run.

Having this conversation with your child can help, but accidents still happen. If your child suffers serious injuries in the crash, make sure you know what rights you may have to financial compensation.

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