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Sidewalk Children Series

How does a parent or carer encourage a child to be venturesome, spirited and curious – as well as cautious and careful, without being constantly fearful? Should we teach our children to be fearful in today’s world?

Consider these facts from the “World Report on Child Injury Prevention”

 “Throughout the world, the road network is constructed without considering children.

Children, though, use the roads as pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclist and occupants of vehicles. They may live close to a road, play on a road or even work on a road. All these interactions with roads, together with a range of other risk factors associated with childhood, increase the susceptibility of children to road traffic injury.”

Globally,road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among 15-19 year olds, and are the second leading cause of death among 5-14 year olds.”

  • The number of children injured or disabled is estimated at 10 million.
  • Globally, pedestrians are the single largest category of children involved in road traffic crashes.

It was not so long ago we would find young children naively playing street cricket, or a game of football in the front of their homes, or racing their bicycles along a sidewalk, or round a cul-de-sac or down a laneway.

In the suburbs and urban areas of the cities and in small towns around the world, the roads, driveways and sidewalks still remain a child’s main play area.

But the world around us is rapidly changing…

Too often we forget the basics in our rush to survive and compete – and in striving for our goals in life, we forget that it’s the little things that sometimes matter the most, such as being cautious when you back out of your driveway, or leave a gate or door open, just in case there is a child who does not realise that they could run into harm’s way.

These stories are designed to guide children on how to learn to play safely. And they provide a reminder, that young children emulate those they admire most around them. They follow their dog, their sibling or their parents, into areas that can be dangerous and without us noticing that they are there. All children are naturally curious and adventurous and most parents encourage them to be this way, without being fearful.