Road Safety and Children

Keeping Children Safe

Road safety is a skill for life: experts state that children are unable to manage their own safety around roads until they are around 8 years old and statistics tell us that thousands of children are injured and killed on roads every year. The building blocks for road safety awareness are established in the early years.

Early years providers have a duty of care to keep children safe when on outings and part of this is to teach them about road safety. Planned activities might include, for example:

• Reading road safety books together

• Playing road safety games in the garden such as ‘stop’ and ‘go’ games

• Buying road safety games such as road sound lotto (vehicles, road crossing beeps etc) - you can, of course, go for a listening walk with a sound recorder and make your own game

• Singing road safety songs during music and movement time: for example, sing ‘I want to ride my bicycle’ - lie the child on his back and pedal his legs in the air. Hold them steady during ‘red, amber’ and pedal away for ‘green – go!’

• Another popular song to help children learn about road safety is ‘Twinkle, twinkle traffic light’ using a visual display of ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ to help children make links in their learning (song words to follow)

• Learning the Green Cross Code together – stop at the kerb in a clear space – look both ways – listen carefully for traffic – cross when the road is clear

Planned adult-led activities can be linked to road safety special days or weeks such as Road Safety Week (in association with Brake) – November 2016.

Road Safety Songs

Road safety books, games and songs can support children to learn about road safety in the comfort of the provision. However, practical life experiences on outings are the best way for children to learn about, for example, fast and slow vehicles, stop and wait when crossing the road, traffic light colours, different types of road crossings etc.

Popular road safety songs include:

Twinkle, twinkle traffic light

Twinkle, twinkle traffic light

On the corner burning bright

Red means stop and green means go

Amber means go very slowly

Twinkle, twinkle traffic light

On the corner burning bright

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

I ride it to the shops

And when I get to the traffic lights

I know I have to stop

Red… amber… green

Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

Road Safety Resources

There are free road safety resources online including Government leaflets and teacher’s notes from Think Direct and activities for early years from ROSPA. Interactive activities from the website ‘Go Safe with Ziggy’ might appeal to younger children.

Safety on outings

It is very important to keep children safe on outings – childminders use a range of different resources such as reins, buggies, wrist straps, high visibility jackets and name bracelets. When on outings with the children, talk about road safety and take every opportunity to share safety messages with the children. It is good practice to share children’s learning with parents so they can follow-up your activities when they take their children on outings as well.

You can find more information about keeping children safe on outings and what to do if you lose a child on our website..

Accident reporting

If a child has an accident or ‘near miss’ accident on the road it must be recorded and shared with parents, who should be asked to sign and date the incident form. It is very important to discuss with Ofsted what you have learned from accidents, including ‘near miss’ accidents where nobody was hurt. For example, as a result of a ‘near miss’ accident you might start using reins with a child who you previously trusted to hold onto the buggy.

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