Although there’s lots that’s not ‘normal’ at the moment, the school or nursery run remains unchanged!
Whether you’re walkers, scooters, cyclists or even car users, making sure children and their accompanying adults are safe and seen when on pavements and crossing roads is paramount.
We’re in the time of year when night falls as early as 4pm, and certainly the daylight can be somewhat lacking at times. Not only is it important to be seen when crossing roads and walking on pavements but also when moving around car parks or driveways.
Naturally we’re big advocates of using high visibility accessories which are both bright colours and reflective. Many children wear school uniform and these have a tendency - especially the bottom half - to be darker colours. Add to that a dark coloured winter coat and a child is next to invisible. Winter coats can be expensive, so rather than ditching your navy or black one in favour of a brighter colour, accessorize with a highvis reflective sash instead.
If you’re a cyclist or wear a helmet for another reason, a bright and reflective helmet cover adds another aspect of visibility. Both of these highvis accessories are easy to wear and store, plus good value for money as they can last for years despite the inevitable growth spurts!
Being bright and reflective is important as the bright element of an outfit - whether that be your coat or a highvis accessory - is what keeps you visible in daytime or around dawn or dusk. The reflective features are the key to being seen when you’re out and about after dark; they react in lights so car headlamps will make the wearer glow. So that’s bright for daytime and reflective for nighttime.
Be aware of parked cars
Keep an eye on parked cars - this relates back to our previous comment on being seen on pavements and in car parks. We often assume that a parked car is static and will remain so but, of course, this is not always the case especially around schools at drop off and collection time.
A driver may look in their wing or rear view mirrors but might not see a small child walking behind or standing at the side. Always leave a big space when standing behind parked cars so you’ve got a bit of leeway to move out of the way if one starts to move.
Forewarned is forearmed
Make your kids aware of potential hazards - such as the parked car situation above. Driveways are another instance where cars typically reverse out so the driver’s visibility is lessened. In most cases, unless it’s something you’ve pointed out, it’s not obvious to kids that driveways are somewhere a car might emerge from. Children are taught from an early age to stop when they get to the end of the pavement, but that distinction isn’t always there with driveways. If children aren’t holding your hand, make them aware that they need to check for any vehicles moving in and out of driveways.
Encourage hand holding for as long as possible!
Ok, you may start to get resistance as your children get older but holding hands when walking out or crossing roads adds another element of safety, especially when judging speed of traffic. Spatial and speed awareness take time to develop in children and giving a helping hand in crucial situations will ensure they learn sufficiently but without any hairy situations!
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