According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011, 230 of which were children under the age of 15. Educating our children about outdoor play safety and notifying drivers that there are children walking and playing on around the area are two important ways to keep them safe while playing outdoors.
To promote outdoor safety, we began making the KidAlert! V.W.S (Visual Warning Sign) in 2001. Now known as Safety Sam, he is an indication to “go slow” when driving on roads where he is placed. You may have seen him around your neighborhood, near daycares, playgrounds and schools.
Safety Sam is trying his best to keep neighborhoods and children safe, but we need to continue to spread the word about children pedestrian safety. Here are some of the top outdoor play tips we found from SafeKids.org:
- Talk to your kids about how to be safe and aware while they are playing in the neighborhood
- Educate kids on the importance of looking to the left, right and left again when crossing the street
- Teach them to never run or dart out into the street even if their favorite ball or other toy begins to travel to the other side of the street
- Inform kids of the reasons why they should not cross between parked cars
- Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them
- Teach kids to be cautious and watch out for cars that are turning or backing up
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths
- Walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10. To be safe for children under the age of 10, tell them to not cross the street until the road is completely clear of cars.
Here are some Test Drive Bloggers that are making Safety Sam a part of their pledge to promote outdoor play safety around their neighborhood.
Newly Crunchy Mama of 3 lives on a 1-way street where kids often play. She hopes that Safety Sam will remind drivers to slow down, especially when kids are playing.
Go Graham Go is playing it safe as her son rides his bicycle around the neighborhood.
Real Mom Reviews practices safety tips with her children. Although Safety Sam is small, he’s a powerful reminder to drivers to be careful while they are driving.
WAHM Connect noticed that cars slow down when they saw Safety Sam on her street.
The Rock Father keeps his Safety Sam on duty, especially when his daughters are playing outside.
Mommy Testers plays it safe with Safety Sam as her daughter plays on her scooter.
Baby Dickey knows the kids will be safe with Safety Sam patrolling the neighborhood.
The Link Fairy believes her neighborhood is a safe place to play with Safety Sam.
Thrifty Nifty Mommy thinks Safety Sam will help drivers to slow down and save lives!
In addition to these bloggers displaying Safety Sam in their community, they have also given a Safety Sam to a friend, neighborhood or relative to encourage road safety. Thank you to all the bloggers that participated in spreading the word about outdoor play safety!
We encourage you to educate your family about keeping kids safe while they play outside. What safety tips for outdoor play do you have?