Keeping Children Safe On Their Walk To School

 Even though the snow is slowly melting, we are still experiencing some rather cool weather.  If weather permitting, we highly encourage children to walk to and from school.  With children walking to and from school this time of year, they could encounter some hazardous situations if the right precautions are not taken.  Take some time and go over a few tips with your child about pedestrian safety.  

 Children are at an increased risk for pedestrian injury or death because traffic rules and risks often exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioral, physical, and sensory abilities.  Do not overestimate your child’s traffic safety skills, simply read over the following tips to help keep your child safe:

  • Keep driveways and sidewalks well shoveled and apply materials such as rock salt or sand to improve traction.
  • Make sure children under age 10 do not cross streets alone.
  • Remind children 10 and older of the rules of pedestrian safety such as using sidewalks, walking on the left side facing against traffic, stopping at the curb edge of the road before crossing and looking left, right, and left again for traffic.  Children should keep looking and listening as they cross.
  • Never let children play in the street or other places where cars go such as; parking lots, driveways, etc.
  • Make sure children wear appropriate shoes and clothing with retro-reflective material while waking in snowy conditions.  Also choose bright colors that can easily be seen against the white snow.

 All winter activities, including walking to school, require warm, dry clothing to prevent frostbite.  Children should be dressed in warm, dry clothes including:

 Hat: Warm, close-fitting, and covers his/her ear lobes; not a “fashion hat” or baseball cap.

  • Mittens: Gloves do not keep hands as warm and effectively as mittens.
  • Lose layers: An absorbent synthetic fabric next to his/her skin, a warmer middle layer, and a water resistant outer layer.
  • Socks: A single pair of socks, either wool or a wool blend is best.  Avoid extra thick socks as they can cause cold feet by restricting blood flow and air circulation around the toes. 
  • Boots: Be sure boots are dry and not too tight. 

 While you are driving make sure to stop before all crosswalks.  This is especially important in the winter time because with snow banks along the street it’s very easy to not see a small child entering the crosswalk.  Be very cautious and slow down because stopping quickly on slippery streets can be very difficult. 

 For more information regarding winter pedestrian safety log on to or send us an e-mail at  If you are interested in free retro-reflective zipper tags, contact Patty at

4 Responses

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you find our information helpful. You can also get great information from our Safe Kids Grand Forks newsletter by signing up for that at: We publish them quarterly and when they are put out, a notification is sent to you if you sign up electronically. Former issues can be accessed at our Safe Kids web site at Hope you find them helpful as well.

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