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Road Safety for Under Three’s

The fear of one of my children running into the road terrifies me and actually gives me nightmares. I remember as a child seeing a Mum smack her child quite firmly on the bottom after it had run into the road and being quite upset about the smack, and my Mum saying ‘She did it to scare him and because she was terrified. He will never run in the road again! She may just have saved his life.’ I never got this at the time but I do now.

I have explained to BBthat cars can be dangerous and that they drive on the roads, and I have explained that pavements are for people. We have also started talking about looking both ways when we walk. I have had to be extra vigilant with BBeven though he is under (just) 3 because he has had to walk everywhere from a very young age and so I am reliant on him following instructions and holding my hand whilst I push the double. This is sometimes easier said then done, because we all know what it can be like when a child refuses to hold you hand, except I don’t have the threat of the buggy to put him in!

To scare me even more recently, I had a complete Mummy fail when the twins managed to open the front door and stepped outside. I wasn’t going to tell you this…I was so ashamed I took my eye of the ball I had only popped to the tumble dryer and it just didn’t even cross my mind they could reach the front door handle but I think it is the only way I can reflect to you how easily things can go from safe to terribly dangerous in seconds. It could have had a horrid ending and I would never have forgiven myself. Needless to say the front door is kept locked from the inside now at all times.

My problem with roads and walking is becoming more of a problem now. The twins are twenty months and they don’t want to stay in the push chair all the time. I don’t blame them and it does not seem fair to not let them practice walking, however I just don’t have enough arms to manage it safely. I have invested in two very gorgeous ‘Little Tikes’ backpacks and this has helped amazingly because at least I can have two out at once and I just have to ignore the squabbles and cries of the one that’s turn it is to wait.

Road safety is paramount. This was made even clearer when an accident happened in the local village a couple of weeks ago which resulted in a knock over by a mini bus and a broken leg of  five year old. The area is well in need of a lollipop lady, but despite this the message needs to get through to younger children about road safety and awareness.

So, I was really impressed when last week this showed up through my letter box from Essex council. It is a booklet called ‘Preparing me for the road’ and aims at looking at road safety teaching for the under threes. It is an interactive booklet for parent and child and involves lots of steps and activities to help in making your child more aware of the road.

It includes the following topics

  • Holding hands
  • Stopping
  • Looking
  • Listening
  • Journeys
  • Roads
  • Things on the road and pavement

I have found the booklet so helpful, and BBand I are working through some of the activities. He now asks to hold my hand because there are cars, but he is so funny because he actually says ‘Mummy, hold my hand, there are cars. It is dangerous.’ as if it is me that needs looking after. My little protector!

I don’t know if all councils are doing these booklets but I hope so. I actually think it is money well spent and really raises the profile of an important issue.

If you want more information on this booklet you can email roadsafety@essex.gov.uk

What do you think?

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8 comments to Road Safety for Under Three’s

  • MummyMummyMum

    That leaflet looks great. I often find myself shouting at mine from a distance as one speeds off on a bike and one on a scooter while I chase after with a pram. Its very stressful. Luckily Z has a lot of road sense, I don't know what I'd do if he didn't!! xx

  • this is us

    More councils should invest in things like this! We live on a quiet close and they want to play out with their friends yet I'm constantly at the window as I'm so terrified of anything happening, they know their road safety, and they know not to go into the road, but it only takes one car…. But what can you do, it's not fair to wrap in cotton wool, so we just have to trust that we've taught them to be sensible, but it's not easy! Great post, Nat. (sorry for the ramble!)

  • Liska

    Wow what a comprehensive post. I take it the Little Tikes' backpacks have a harness included.

    Yes I am going on Thursday. Was just reading Matthew's email again and I cannot decide whether to bring Aaron or not, as they say that they have a soft play area, but I want to know are we nearby or not etc….. Can't decide :-(

    Liska xx

  • twinsmumplusone

    Our council produces a similar booklet which I am reading with my youngest but I only really have her to worry about now as the older two are nearly seven and fairly sensible (most of the time)!

    Your post did take me back to the challenges of young walkers.

    I did use the double pram alot when my twins were younger because my son found it hilarious to run off and his partner in crime would follow!

    However, we had a few country parks near us which were perfect for walks and I used those to give them freedom until they were more sensible. It hasn't done them any harm as they can walk 8 miles now.

    Good Luck x

  • Mumma

    Great post it brought back loads of memories. Mine all have to hold someones hand before we cross any road or I stand in the middle like a lolly pop lady as they walk across. MAny a time I have had to stand by a kerb side for a good 10 minutes before we crossed because one of them was messing about! I wish more councils did something like this Infact why don't they all use this booklet? xxx

  • Mrs R

    I think it's really inportant to get this kind of thing. In West Lothian we got 'The Traffic Club' booklets from 3yrs old. It was a series of 5 activity books looking at road safety with a colouring competition each time. It really helped to enforce saftey when we were out and about because I could say to Wee Dude 'remember in The Traffic Club, what did Clare do when she got to the kerb?' and we could put into practice what we had read about in the booklet.

    We don't live in West Lothian now, we're in South Lanarkshire and I don't know if they have something like that. I haven't seen anything so far. But Wee Love will get to do The Traffic Club books that Wee Dude did.

    xxxx

  • Charlotte

    I was in a busy car park yesterday with only my daughter. She's simple to sort: A swift transfer from trolley to car seat. As I popped my head back out of my car I could hear a poor mother screaming frantically at her children to get in the car. Other shoppers stared at her disdainfully but I tried to throw her a look of understanding. She had 3 toddlers running in different directions. It was an impossible situation for her. Only one could go in the trolley. Car seats are notoriously challenging to do up in a hurry and her children were in a dangerous situation. I just went to try to help her round them up and avoid tragedy when she had the ingenious idea of plonking one toddler in the back of the trolley momentarily to get one loose little fella into the car. I caught her eye to smile at her but really felt for her. How worrying. After all, she is not an octopus. It did, however, really annoy me that no one else offered to help. Everyone seemed happy to smirk at her seeming loss of control. I'd like to see them manage it safely. x

  • Mumma

    Great post it brought back loads of memories. Mine all have to hold someones hand before we cross any road or I stand in the middle like a lolly pop lady as they walk across. MAny a time I have had to stand by a kerb side for a good 10 minutes before we crossed because one of them was messing about! I wish more councils did something like this Infact why don't they all use this booklet? xxx

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