Over the next week, many parents will be sending their kids back to school, and they are likely concerned about their children's health because of all of the germs that can lurk in classrooms. Schools are filled with threats to children's health such as toxins in school supplies and fat- and sodium-laden lunches. Of course, there are other safety concerns as well.
Recently, an article published in the Huffington Post, based on a report from Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx, warns parents that they need to talk to their kids about how to be safe and responsible pedestrians.
Put away the cell phone
According to the news source, the report examined trends in the past 15 years in child pedestrian injuries and deaths in the U.S. What the researchers discovered was that injuries have increased by 25 percent among young people between the ages of 16 and 19 over the past five years. Furthermore, those between the ages of 14 and 19 account for 50 percent of child pedestrian injuries. This makes sense, considering that cell phone use has dramatically increased in this population in the past decade.
Between texting and listening to music with headphones on, many teens are distracted as they cross the street and may be less likely to notice potholes, things lying in the road or oncoming cars.
"The report also shows that while walking safety has improved overall for children since 1995, there are still a staggering number of children hit by cars. In fact, More than 61 children are injured every day severely enough to seek medical attention. More than 500 children are killed every year," according to the information provider.
Tips to keep kids safe
The Post offered some tips on how to keep children safe while they cross the street. First, tell them that drivers are often distracted, so they should make eye contact with people in the car before crossing the street. Also, they should remove their headphones while crossing the street and walk on sidewalks and paths whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, then they should stay on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that walking to school is a great way for kids to get exercise, but they need to remember to stop, look and listen. This means they stop before they cross the street, look both ways before they step into the road and listen for oncoming traffic.