Content is loading...

Hide this page Easy read and translate

Road safety

  • 1-5 Years
  • 5-11 Years
  • 11-19 Years
  • SEND
  • Staying safe and accident prevention
Boy toddler standing near the road in a fluorescent yellow jacket reaching his hand out

It’s important to teach your child to be safe and aware of what is going on around them on the road. This will help them to build the skills they need to become independent when they are older.

Road safety for young children

Your child will learn about road safety by watching and copying you. So it’s important to set a good example for your child from a young age.

  • When walking with children, keep them on the side of the path furthest away from the traffic.
  • Be aware of the distraction caused by headphones or texting while you are walking.
  • If you are using a buggy, pram or pushchair always strap your child in, and keep it away from the edge of the road.
  • Hold your child’s hand when walking outside. If your child might pull away from you, you could try safety reins or a wrist strap.

Talk to your child about road safety from an early age. Here are some things you can discuss with them:

  • Never assume a driver will stop for you at a pedestrian crossing. Wait for them to stop before crossing.
  • Avoid walking next to the kerb with your back to the traffic.
  • Wear something bright or reflective to make yourself seen.
  • Look out for motorcycles and bicycles travelling between lanes of traffic.
  • Make sure when crossing the road you can get to the pavement without having to walk around obstacles. For example, parked cars, road works or skips.
  • When crossing at a pedestrian crossing, keep looking both ways. Sometimes drivers go through red lights.
  • Always follow the Green Cross Code - Stop, Look, Listen and don’t forget the hedgehogs.

Road safety for older children

As children get older, road safety worries will change. As your child becomes more independent, they will be able to put into action the skills you have taught them to keep safe on the road. Your child’s risk of being injured increases as they gain independence.

Research suggests that children are unable to judge the distance and speed of vehicles until they are about 9 years old.

Here are some important things to consider before deciding if your child is ready to walk on their own:

  • How old is your child?
  • How far away is it?
  • Is the pavement in good condition?
  • Is there a busy road they need to cross?
  • Are there safe places to cross?
  • Are there street lights?
  • Have they got protective clothing?

When your child does walk on their own remind them to follow the Green Cross Code – Stop, Look, Listen.

Becoming independent is an important part of growing up for your child or young person. Read our information below to help you and your child or young person through these transitional periods.


Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Staying safe and accident prevention for additional needs

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s safety, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Was this page helpful?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You must log in to save content

Click below to log in or create a new account


You must log in to save content

Click below to log in or create a new account