In the summer children usually spend more time outside, enjoying time with family and friends, whether in the city or in their vacation spot. Wherever they end up vacationing, it is crucial for children to take a series of precautions when playing outside on the street to ensure they are as safe as possible.
First and foremost, the adults in charge of the children should be aware of everything happening on the street. Giving children freedom is important, but our responsibility for them as guardians or parents should come first. We should always be directly supervising our children.
Advice to ensure that children are playing safely on the streets in summer
1. Children should be very careful when playing next to the road. The first rule of safety is that children keep well away from the road. The further away from the road they are, the safer it is for them to play in peace.
2. Crossing the street is a risk in itself, above all for young children.This is particularly important when they are playing with a ball and it goes between the cars. We need to make sure that children know that checking for traffic is far more important than running after the ball.
3. Cars and other vehicles are unpredictable for children. We need to be sure that they understand the risk of running out between cars and crossing without looking both ways or walking between cars, even if the cars are not moving. They should be told to avoid going near the back of any vehicle as they can't always be seen by the driver.
4. Electric cars are even more dangerous because they make very little noise and only the movement of the wheels can be heard. Their motors do not make the same noise as a combustion engine therefore children need to be looking very carefully before attempting to cross the road.
5. The heat is dangerous for children as they can get easily dehydrated. It is best not to be out on the street during the hottest times of the day, such as midday or the early afternoon, above all if there is a heat wave. Hydration for children is absolutely crucial. They should always have a bottle of water with them when playing outside, as well as sun protection - sunblock and a hat.
6. Children have certain limitations in their cognition and in their field of vision until they are 7 years old, meaning that they do not properly assess danger and therefore we need to take more precautions when they are younger.
7. Once a child has reached 10 years old, a normal child is usually ready, in terms of their psychomotor development, to walk alone on the street although this does not mean that their parents should not be checking on them.
8. They need to wear appropriate, breathable and, if possible, brightly colored clothing. This means they will be more visible to other road users.
9. Children need to be aware of new personal mobility vehicles on the roads such as electric scooters. These scooters are often being used on the sidewalks and make very little noise.
10. If your child is going to be alone outside, make sure you know where they are going. You need to know where your child is at all times. If they are very young, they should be supervised or accompanied by an adult.