By: Martianne Stanger
We’ve turned the calendar page to a month when we enjoy apple picking, leaf peeping, pumpkin carving, and… ROAD SAFETY!
Thanksgiving – For a Loss that Did Not Happen
Eight years ago this month, my son’s guardian angel kept him safe when he unexpectedly darted across a road in front of a car. Although the car made no physical impact with him, the impact of the moment has never left our family.
The fear, the relief, the Thanksgiving, and the reminder that road safety is something that needs to be taught and retaught until it becomes strongly habitual all became starkly apparent for us on Halloween 2012 and, now, every October especially, I make an effort to promote road safety.
Teach Road Safety to Children
One of the easiest ways to review road safety with young is through a road safety song I adapted and taught my children when they were young:
- Stop, look, and listen.
- Hold a hand to cross the street.
- Look left, right, left.
- Then, use your feet.
You can also use games, books, lessons, and more. There are plenty of great ideas and resources for teaching road safety, but a click away!
Of course, all of the ideas and resources are only effective if you introduce them, and, then, review them regularly. For, even a child who can parrot the phrase, “Stop, look, and listen,” may forget to actually do so when excited, anxious, or otherwise in a state that mutes executive functioning skills.
Trust me on this, the more physical practice and review, the better!
Be Safe on the Roads Yourself
Also, talk to your children as you drive carefully around and ensure that they are always buckled safely into place. Note pedestrians and cyclists who are crossing and traveling alongside roads safely. Use caution with those who are not, and discuss their choices and yours with your children.
Be aware and make your children aware. And, of course, when traveling in areas with many children or a lot of foot traffic, especially on nights like Halloween, take extra care.
I am ever thankful that my son’s guardian angel helped keep him safe eight years ago and have done my best since to live – and share – the lesson I learned through that vehicle’s near miss.
I pray you never have to experience such a fearful moment.
Be safe and happy when near roads and enjoy all the blessings of this month!