Teaching children road safety by age

Road safety for 3 to 5 year olds

When you start the learning process you should:

  • make sure your child walks on the side of the pavement away from the traffic
  • use reins, hold your child’s hand or get them to hold onto the buggy or pushchair if you’re using one
  • look out for, and encourage your child to look out for, hidden entrances or driveways crossing the pavement

Road safety for 5 to 7 year olds

At this age you should still hold hands with your child when you cross the road. You should also:

  • practice crossing on quiet roads near where you live, firstly with you taking the decisions, then letting your child lead you
  • always cross the road at the safest place where you can see in all directions - never cross diagonally
  • set up a rota with other parents to take your child to school - this is a good way to free up some time for you

Road safety for 7 to 11 year olds

You can help your child be independent, as well as staying safer on the road, as they grow older by teaching them the Green Cross Code. When you are sure they know and understand it you can:

  • let them cross quiet roads where you’ve been practising - watching and testing them before you let them do it alone
  • gradually move on to practising on busier roads together - do this many times before you let you child cross alone, and while you watch
  • help them plan safe routes to school.