Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Outdoor Safety > Neighborhood Safety Guide
|

Neighborhood Safety Guide

Safety First!

Warmer weather and lengthening hours of daylight beckon, and kids are answering the call. You can help keep them safe by reviewing some of the simple safety rules below.

Wooded Areas

  1. Brief your children on what to do if they get lost in the woods after dark. Let them know that their best survival bet, if lost, is to stay in one place and wait to be found.
  2. Equip your children with a small penlight attached to a key chain or clipped to the inside of a jacket or coat. Tell them it's not a toy and should only be used for emergencies.
  3. Attach a small whistle to the zipper of a coat. A whistle is an ideal signaling device, if a child is lost or hurt.

Dark and Dusk

Rising temperatures and increasing hours of daylight bring with them a  corresponding increase in traffic accidents involving kids and cars. The periods of greatest risk are the hours just before and after sunset. During periods of twilight, visibility is limited and a driver's depth perception is reduced by low light levels.

  1. All evening play clothes (especially jackets, coats, and wind breakers) should have reflective cloth strips. So should bikes, helmets, and backpacks.
  2. Evening strolls should include a flashlight — especially if all or most of the walking is alongside roads and streets without sidewalks.
  3. Bike riding should be specifically prohibited, unless the bike has been equipped with reflectors, head lamps, and other night-riding safety features.

Playing in the Street

City streets and country roads aren't playgrounds, and we don't advise that kids use them as such. However, if you do allow your kids to play in the street or on lightly traveled roads, please follow a few commonsense safety tips.

  1. Stop all play when a vehicle is spotted; move to the side of the road and resume play only after the vehicle has passed.
  2. Use inexpensive traffic cones marked "Play Area Ahead" to advise drivers that kids may be in the road ahead. Cones should be placed on the center line, so as not to block traffic a few hundred feet away from the play area. Remove cones when kids are finished playing or bike riding.

Water Areas

Ponds, swamps, streams, and rivers are prone to flooding in the spring from melting snow, and the icy water poses a significant threat to the health and safety of kids who aren't "water wise." The risk of drowning or hypothermia can be greatly reduced by following these simple safety rules:

  1. Stay away from rivers and streams during spring floods. Swiftly moving water, even a few inches deep, can easily knock children off their feet and quickly carry them beyond the reach of safety.
  2. Banks of rivers and streams are very unstable and prone to collapse during periods of high water. Stay away.
  3. Do not trust spring ice on ponds and lakes. Warm days and cold nights result in weak and mushy ice. Stay off the ice.
Bottom line? Let your kids know that safety rules aren't designed to ruin anyone's fun. Tell them to play hard, play fast, and play smart. Enjoy!

More on: Outdoor Safety

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

12 Pumpkin Activities and Crafts for Kids
Pumpkins and gourds are perfect for fall fun and games with the kids. Find the best pumpkin activities, crafts, printables, and recipes to enjoy with your children this Halloween season.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

15 Best Slow Cooker Meals
Too busy to cook? Try one of these deliciously easy slow cooker meals and have dinner waiting when you get home!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!