To celebrate the International Day of the Family on May 15, we want to emphasize the importance of ‘Child Road Safety’ and prevention and on road safety for the whole family. We often talk about so-called "traffic accidents" when we should actually be referring to traffic or road incidents. In most instances, these "incidents" are avoidable. Ingraining safe habits from an early age and, most importantly, putting these into practice, is essential to having children who know how to be safe on the roads and who will be good drivers in the future.
THE IMPORTANCE OF IMITATION AND HABITS
Young children imitate vocabulary, gestures, expressions, behaviors... They copy both the positive and negative things of those closest to them: relatives and peers (day care, school, friends etc.). Given the important role that the family plays in the development of small children, it's important that we let them know of the importance of prevention in avoiding accidents from a young age.
It is crucial that a child sees you following these same safe behaviors or habits you want to ingrain in them. It won't make any difference if we emphasize the importance of crossing streets at crosswalks on a green light if we grab their hand to run across at the wrong place. We have to do things correctly and explain over and over why we are doing them that way and how things should be done.
As we've mentioned before, imitation is very important especially at an early age. It may also be necessary to explain to them when someone's doing things right and when they're not. If we see a person crossing the street incorrectly, we should tell them. If we see a child in their car seat, we should point out that that's right and that they should also travel this way.
Additionally, if we carry them in appropriate child restraint systems right from the start (consult here how to choose the safest seat), they will see this as something normal and necessary for traveling in a car. The habit of doing something is deeply rooted in young children.
ROAD SAFETY FOR FAMILIES
The Department of Prevention and Safety of Fundación MAPFRE includes among its channels ‘Families and Road Safety', a channel dedicated specifically to parents and children. It offers news, educational resources, family entertainment, how to answer questions etc.
This channel offers a multitude of educational resources: articles, infographics, online games, education in English, Technokids, family activities, video gallery etc.
Every family member needs to play their part if we want the message to get through to our children and ensure that they travel safely. The hardest part is often fitting a car seat correctly. So we've prepared this video on how to do it:
School for families and disabilities, online support, and the 'I Can' app are some of the initiatives of Fundación MAPFRE to help families. The objective is to help families feel supported and find resources to improve their quality of life.
Conscious of this, you can find a specific section on family support on our channel, as well as specialized material and articles for children with special needs. We should all travel safely.