A Parent’s Guide to Road Safety for Kids

Mum holding child's hand at pedestrian crossing to teach road safety skills

When it comes to road safety and kids, many of us parents will remember a certain jingle from our childhoods. “Kids you must remember every time you’re in the car, and it makes no difference if you’re going near or far….”

While the Make it Click campaign had a role in helping kids stay safe in vehicles, there was still a need to be safe around roads and driveways too. This remains today and if anything, is even more important. Our roads are busier, vehicles keep getting bigger and faster, and drivers are usually rushing between destinations due to busy schedules.

To help you teach road safety skills to your kids, we’ve put together a collection of suggestions, plus free resources available for Kiwi kids.

6 Road Safety Tips for Parents to Teach Kiwi Kids

When it comes to road safety, there are three main different aspects: a car passenger, a pedestrian and a cyclist. The same principals below are also apply to scooters, skateboards, roller-skates and inline skates too! It’s important that as parents, we teach our kids about how to be safe in each of these areas.

  1. Wear bright colours – when walking, scootering or cycling, kids are by nature small, so are difficult to see. Wearing brightly coloured clothing such as seen on our coveralls, helps drivers see them better. When biking or walking, wearing sunglasses can help your child avoid glare from the sun, which can lead to them not seeing clearly too.
  2. Keep to the left – when on a footpath, teach your kids to stay on the left-hand side. This helps prevent those accidents when they run into someone coming the other way.
  3. Wear a seatbelt – always have your child wearing a seat belt and using an approved child car seat or restraint!
  4. Wear a helmet – when biking, even on a tricycle or balance bike, protecting your child’s head with a correctly fitted bike helmet is essential. I strongly recommend helmets for younger children on their scooters too!
  5. Cross with an adult or big person – kids need to wait for an adult to help them cross the road safely. This means holding onto Mum or Dad’s hand and using the road patrol team at school.
  6. Look out for sneaky driveways – many children are injured or killed by cars in driveways each year. Teach your child to play in other areas and away from vehicles. Make sure they know to look left and right into a driveway when walking past it.

Free Road Safety Resources for Kids

Once we did some research into road safety for children, we were amazed at the amount of free resources that are available. Here are a few of the ones we found:

  • Ruben the Road Safety Bear – an interactive website for kids, plus a small section for grown ups
  • Brake Aotearoa New Zealand – a charity which focuses on road safety, and has a great selection of interactive and printable resources
  • NZTA – a section on tips to teach your kids, plus information on child restraints
  • NZ Police – downloadable road safety booklets for parents and kids

Do you know of any other road safety or cycling resources available for parents or kids? Let us know by dropping a link to them in the comments below.

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