TA K E H O M E
I WANT TO BE STREET-SMART
Children are around moving vehicles on roads and streets
to some extent every day of their lives. They may walk to
and from school, wait for their bus at the street corner, and
run to a neighbor’s house to play. In rural areas children
must learn to watch for not only cars and trucks but also
tractors and other farm equipment.
Most young children cannot estimate road dangers or the consequences
of their actions. Children under age six do not have the sensory development
to judge whether a vehicle is coming toward or going away from them, the
distance to the vehicle, or its speed. A child can say and may appear to “stop,
look, and listen” when an adult is supervising but may nevertheless cross in
front of an oncoming vehicle. To young children, the headlights on a vehicle
appear to be similar to eyes. They may believe that if they can see the vehicle,
then the driver of the vehicle can “see” them, yet this is not always true.
Supervise your child closely whenever he or she is playing near roads or
streets, waiting for a bus, or crossing a street. Check all around your own ve-
hicle before moving from your driveway.
SAFE PLAY AREAS
When your child is playing, she or he may not pay attention to what else is
happening. If the ball rolls into the street, your child may run after it. If your
child is drawing with chalk in a driveway or alley, he or she probably will not
hear or see a car pulling in or out. A child learning to ride a bicycle may turn
in front of a moving vehicle.
Look around your home to find the safest areas for your child to play. Your
own backyard or driveway, or the sidewalk or cul-de-sac of a quiet neighbor-
hood may prove to be the safest. Some communities have parks and other
play areas. Porches and rooftops may also be play areas.
Wherever your child plays, she or he should have adult supervision. Even
better, play with your child!
14 From Safety by Connie Jo Smith, Charlotte M. Hendricks, and Becky S. Bennett, © 2014. Published
by Redleaf Press, www.redleafpress.org. This page may be reproduced for classroom use only.