As parents, we all hope that, by the time we send our kids off to Middle and High School we’ve done a decent job teaching them the safety basics: what to do in a fire or earthquake, how to contact us in an emergency, what to do if bothered by a stranger or bully, and so forth. You may have even reviewed these lessons with your children recently as they headed back to school.
But what about How to safely cross the street? We’re guessing that was not one of the things you talked about with your teen the night before this year’s first day of school… but maybe it should have been.
Safe Kids Worldwide (http://www.safekids.org/infographic/how-does-teen-cross-road) recently conducted a study on teens crossing the street, and the results were surprising. The Pedestrian Death rate for teens aged 15 – 19 is more than that of all younger children combined, and the rates for this age group are climbing.
Distraction was the presumed cause, which led Safe Kids to observe more than 34,000 middle and high school students crossing the street. They found that 12% of middle school students and 20% of high school students were distracted while crossing the street. Texting, listing to music and even playing video games while walking topped the list of activities that put teens at risk. The infographic below summarizes Safe Kids’ findings.
Here’s what you can do about it:
- Talk to kids, especially teens, about the danger of distraction and the importance of putting devices down while crossing the street.
- Start the discussion about safely using technology when kids get their first mobile device – and keep talking about it.
- Set a good example of what crossing the street [and doing other important tasks] safely looks like.
- Be aware of others who may be distracted, and speak up.
Read the full report and get more information on what you can do to help your teens and others in the community here: http://issuu.com/safekids/docs/skw_pedestrian_study_2013