Dr Amanda Gummer Says...
Dr. Amanda Gummer has dedicated her life to working with children and families in a variety of settings since 1993. As well as running a family support charity in London and teaching children...
Road Safety Tips to ensure your child enjoys their summer holidays
With the summer holidays upon us and the weather holding up (so far), many parents will be eager to let their children play outside, yet will be wary to let their kids do so unsupervised – which could spell a long, bored summer being cooped up indoors.
With such a buzz about the Olympics and even more reports coming out to make parents feel guilty about their kids not getting enough exercise – it seems a no brainer that we need to come up with more creative ways to ensure kids stay safe whilst playing outside. Yet why are more kids not playing out on the streets?
Road safety remains one of the main reasons (and most legitimate fear) that will stop parents from letting their child play outside freely and often means kids end up cooped up indoors, when they could be stretching their legs. Whilst it’s a valid argument, here’s my top tips to try and help parents ensure their kids are road-safe:
1. Teach children about road safety from an early age - make sure you give them a good role model to copy - crossing in safe places, not jay walking and only crossing when the light is green.
Older children should be given more responsibility and asked when they think it is safe to cross and you should also make sure teenagers are aware about how much walking whilst texting or listening to music can act as distractions when crossing the road.
2. Give children freedom to play unsupervised once they're in a safe place (park, playground etc) but ensure they're supervised crossing any busy roads on the way – this can help your child build confidence being on their own and also give you reassurance that they are more than capable!
3. Use cycle paths and other off-road routes to get around your local area, but try to walk or cycle rather than automatically jumping in the car – this can help your child to build up road sense by being outside as much as possible.
4. Enroll your child on a cycling proficiency course as early as possible - speak to your school if they don't already offer one, this is a fantastic way to ensure children know the rules of the road from a qualified instructor.
5. Build up trust with your child - gradually let them demonstrate that they understand road safety and give them more freedom accordingly. It’s difficult to let go of the reigns, so start with semi-supervised play first, with a view to letting kids go it alone.
Is road safety one of the reasons you worry about letting your kids play out alone? Let us know any extra tips you have to share with fellow mums below!Road Safety Tips to ensure your child enjoys their summer holidays