Key Tips on Being a Safe Pedestrian with Your Baby on Busy Streets
Your baby has finally learned how to walk, and it looks like he or she is now ready to go out and experience a whole new world outside of the four walls of their crib. So you took your baby out of your house and into a busy street.
But as your baby might not know yet how to cross a road properly, they might get into an accident involving them and a passing vehicle. To be a safe pedestrian while you’re walking with your baby along busy streets, here are some key tips that you should follow:
Always Hold Your Baby’s Hand
Hold your baby’s hand at all times whenever you’re both out walking outside of your house. The very last thing that you want for yourself as a parent is to get accused of being negligent after losing your baby in a busy street that’s full of other pedestrians and passing vehicles.
So, whenever you have to take your baby out for a walk along with you outside of your house, you should hold your child’s hand and watch them closely at the same time. You want your grip to be tight, but not too tight.
You shouldn’t let your baby run along some busy street or in crowded areas where he or she can get easily lost. After all, your baby’s sense of direction, as well as homing instincts, haven’t reached full development yet. However, keeping your baby close to you doesn’t mean that you have any right to tie them to a leash. You’re walking with your baby, not your dog.
Show Him or Her to Watch Both Sides
Teach your baby to look to look left then right when you both have to cross a certain road. One simply doesn’t cross a road blindly. But as it might be your baby’s first time to cross a road, they may not yet know the very basics of doing it, so you must teach him or her to watch both sides of the road.
But as most – if not all – babies can’t correctly judge the speed and distance of any approaching vehicles yet, you should still assist them instead of making them try to cross any road on their own.
Remove All Distractions
Get everything that’s distracting your baby out of his or her hands. Unlike you, your baby doesn’t have as much control yet over any distractions that may fall into their hands. As walking along busy streets involves a certain amount of focus, you should make sure that your baby is as distraction-free as possible whenever he or she is walking along with you.
Leave your baby’s toys at home so that he or she can focus on walking instead of playing with them while you and your baby are outside of your house. And if something falls into your child’s hands during your outing, be sure to tell them you will hold it for them until it is a safe time to play with it again. Or, if you’re out walking with your baby and you stop to buy them some ice cream to eat, you should ask him or her to finish it first before you resume walking.
Cross the Road Safely at Correct Places
Cross the road only at designated pedestrian lanes or once the WALK traffic sign has flashed. To make crossing roads safe for pedestrians of every stripe, no matter how old they are, traffic officials put up safety measures like pedestrian lanes and WALK / DON’T WALK signs in certain sections of most roads.
When both you and your baby have to cross a road, you should both do so by walking on top of a designated pedestrian lane, instead of trying to make your way to the other side of the road by crossing in an area where you and your baby aren’t supposed to cross at all.
Some sections of certain roads have WALK / DON’T WALK signs aside from the usual pedestrian lanes. You should point out to your baby that they’re only supposed to cross a road once either the word “WALK” or a green, moving silhouette of a walking man has flashed.
Do Your Best to Control the Distraction Level
Don’t let your baby get too carried away with an object that they find interesting while you’re both out walking on some busy street. Your baby may have noticed a funny-looking mascot while you’re both out walking on a street that’s filled with more people and vehicles than usual since it’s your town’s annual parade. Or your baby may have seen an attractive sign outside some shop.
However, as mentioned earlier, most – if not all – babies have very little control over anything that distracts their attention, which can lead them to get hurt while they’re out walking with you.
But instead of telling your baby to bring their focus back on walking with you, you should tell them nicely that while something that they’ve taken an interest in looks good, both of you can come back and check it out later instead.
Back Home Safe and Sound
According to nonprofit organization Safe Kids Worldwide, in 2014 alone, more than 40,000 kids sustained non-fatal injuries after getting caught in accidents as pedestrians. A certain portion of that said statistic involves babies, and you don’t want your baby to be included in it at all. At the same time, you don’t want your baby to be cooped up all day in their crib, since not exposing them to the outside world can stunt their overall growth later in life. You may also click here to know more about your legal options in these situations.
So when you’re taking your baby out walking on a busy street, you should observe these tips on how both of you can become safe pedestrians and make your way back home safe and sound.
Author: Vicki Haskett
Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who's had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time, she spends quality time with her family and friends.