Something you never want to become lax about is teaching your kids about car safety. It’s never too early to start showing them safety techniques and general protocols they will use now and as they get older.
The Basics of Cross Walks
One thing you can start teaching them right away is about the basics of cross walks, both in and out of the vehicle. When in the car, teach them about checking for pedestrians, slowing down, and stopping when they are trying to cross. This information can help them better understand when they themselves are crossing the street.
And for when they are pedestrians, make sure you go over the correct protocols of checking each side of the street for any potential cars (and bikes!). Point out the cross-walk lines on the road and other physical items they can follow for guidance, such as the white and yellow lines of the road too. Be sure to show them early on the cross-walk signals, what they mean, and how they should still double check them before crossing. Sometimes a signal may say they can walk, but a left-turner vehicle may also have a green signal!
This may be a no-brainer today, but seatbelts haven’t been around for as long as you think! Seatbelts save lives, though, and are a must when driving, even if it’s a short distance. Show your child how to fasten their seatbelts as young as you can to get them doing it themselves and taking responsibility. Tell them about how it protects them in case of a crash, and that if the car is moving, they should always have a seatbelt fastened.
The Little Details
It may feel like there’s a million and one things to tell your kid about cars and staying safe. Don’t worry! There’s always going to be a chance for a teachable moment as it’s happening, and before it happens. Be sure to talk to your kids about parking lots and to check for cars coming and going. Looking for rear lights and back up lights is a good go-to for most kids so they know when cars are backing up. Explain which sides (and lanes) the cars are supposed to be driving, in case they don’t realize a car may be swerving into an opposing lane. Teach them about turn signals and how that can (and sometimes can’t) help them to discover where a car is heading.
No matter when you teach your kids about car safety, they will always be able to apply it to real life situations and be prepared!