Many children walk to school each day. To prevent injury and other
risks on the way to school, parents and guardians should teach their
child some basic safety rules. Begin to teach children as early as age
four about safe walking.
"Prewalk" children along a predetermined route before
sending them out alone. Children should be taught to use only the
selected route and to follow traffic and pedestrian rules. Cross streets
only at corners, looking left, right and left again. Be alert for
turning cars. Stay in the crosswalks. Teach the meaning of traffic light
colors. Always follow the directions of the crossing guard or safety
patrol. If there is a traffic light, cross only when the facing light is
green or when the walk sign is on.
Other safe walking rules are:
- Walk to and from school in groups.
- Never accept a ride without first getting permission from parents.
- Never take shortcuts. Stick to routes selected by parents. Walk on
sidewalks and paths, not streets.
- Carry money for telephone calls or a calling card. A 911 call is
free from pay phones. Tell your child how to contact you in a hurry.
- Call the school if your child will be absent. Let the school know
how to contact you if your child does not show up.
- Have "home alone" plans for emergencies and for phone
and door answering. Arrange for other parents to take your children
in an emergency or if you are late.
- Children should be aware of "safe havens" along walking
routes, such as police stations, fire stations, or retail shops.
- Report all suspicious behavior and "new adult friends"
For more information, contact the Genesee County Health Department at