News release from Allen County Safe Kids:
More than 40 children are hit daily by a vehicle while walking
Five simple things every parent needs to teach their kids
(September 1, 2015) – It is alarmingly common for children to get hit by a vehicle while walking. Recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 444 children across the country were killed in 2013 after being hit while walking. And 16,000 more were injured; that’s 44 kids hurt every day.
These surprising statistics demonstrate the need for parents and caregivers to talk to children about safe walking behaviors. As with the Lutheran Children’s Hospital Kids dart. Drive smart. campaign at the end of the school year, pedestrians and drivers alike also benefit from a refresher course on walking safety when students return to the classroom. This is especially important now that streets, sidewalks and parking lots have received a major influx of early morning foot traffic.
“Parents know to teach their children to look left, right and left again before crossing the street,” said Safe Kids Allen County Coordinator Carmen DeBruce. “But that’s just the beginning. As kids get older, they’re walking on their own, crossing unfamiliar streets and are out when it’s dark. With just a few more simple tips, kids will be much safer while walking.”
With days getting shorter and Halloween just around the corner, take the time now to help children avoid serious injury. To achieve that goal, Safe Kids and FedExÂ® are teaming up to bring families these five simple tips to help keep kids safe on the road.
- Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
- Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
- If kids are walking when it’s dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly-colored clothing and reflective gear.
About Safe Kids Allen County
Safe Kids Allen County is a coalition of local organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children. Safe Kids Allen County, a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, was founded in 1999 and is led by Lutheran Children’s Hospital. Internationally, a child dies from an unintentional injury every 30 seconds – and millions of children are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime. For more information about the global network of Safe Kids organizations and current campaigns, visit SafeKids.org.
The Safe Kids Allen County coalition includes these member organizations:
- Allen County Sheriff’s Department
- American Red Cross
- Dupont Hospital
- Early Childhood Alliance
- Family & Children’s Services
- Fort Wayne – Allen County Department of Health
- Fort Wayne Fire Department
- Fort Wayne Police Department
- Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving
- Indiana State Police
- Lutheran Children’s Hospital (lead organization)
- Lutheran Hospital
- New Haven Police Department
- New York Life
- Parkview Regional Medical Center
- Safe Kids Volunteer Corps
- St. Joseph Regional Burn Center
- Stop Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN)
- Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA)
- Wells County Boys & Girls Club