Point, pause, proceed
Vehicle collisions involving children happen
most often in September and October, followed
by May and June, says Parachute, a national
injury prevention organization. Back to school
is a busy time with new routines and daylight
decreasing. Teaching your child how to safely
cross the road and recognizing when he is
ready to do this alone are important.
Before letting your child cross a road alone,
he needs to show you he can do it safely. To
do this, he needs to understand where it’s
safe to cross (such as corners and marked
crosswalks) and be able to judge vehicle
speeds and traffic gaps. He also needs to
know how to make eye contact with drivers.
“Most children develop the skills to cross
roads alone between nine and 11 years old,”
says Carrie Herrick-Fitzgerald, a coordinator
with AMA School Safety Patrol.
The School Safety Patrol emphasizes
teaching your child to:
Point Stop and extend your arm and
Pause Look in all directions for traffic,
make eye contact with drivers and
wait until all vehicles stop
Your child learns pedestrian safety by
copying you and other adults. Help him by
following and talking about the rules and
avoiding distractions such as talking on a
cellphone while walking.