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Columbus, Ohio
USA

Blog

Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

Distracted Walking: When Foot Traffic Meets Road Traffic

End Injury

" Crosswalk " by Casey Fiesler  (CC BY 2.0)

"Crosswalk" by Casey Fiesler (CC BY 2.0)

Where I live, we're seeing sunnier days and warmer weather. In just a few short weeks, my neighborhood switched from quiet and sleepy to noisy and bustling. Bikes, skateboards, scooters, and all types of foot traffic fill the sidewalks on my street every day.

I love seeing my neighborhood wake up in the spring, but I live near a heavily-used intersection, so I also see many near-misses between cars and pedestrians. Kids of all ages are looking down at screens, listening to music, talking on their phones or to their friends, or just not paying attention, sometimes in very dangerous ways. A kid with headphones on might not hear an approaching car. A kid playing a game on her phone might not look up before stepping into the street. A group of friends talking might not notice that traffic has started up again after a red light.

So, as your kids start to get outside more and walk to school, friends’ houses, or other locations, it’s a good idea to help them plan the route they will take and review some safety rules. Take a walk with them to point out safe places to walk and cross streets. You can also take that time to talk about distracted walking, reminding them to put down the phone, make eye contact with drivers, and look in all directions before crossing the road. (Setting an example for your kids is important, so be sure to apply these rules to yourself, too.)

No time to walk with your kids? Safe Kids Worldwide has created a nifty little tool to help review the rules of walking safely. Check it out here.  

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