Child Pedestrians at Risk

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reports that each year there are over 600 child pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrian injuries are one of the leading causes of injury related deaths for children in the United States.

Children do not appreciate traffic risks and rules. Children under 2 years of age suffer the highest number of injuries as pedestrians.

Risk factors include reduced visibility for drivers and children, streets with higher speed limits, streets with many parked cars, and streets without crosswalk signals.

Prevention practices include teaching children not to cross streets by themselves, modeling behavior by crossing at street corners and following traffic signals and teaching children to look left, right and to continue looking while crossing a street.

Children need adults to provide guidance and supervision. Unfortunately, a child may see a driver, however the driver may not see the child, the driver may be distracted.

Distracted driving, including reaching for and use of a cell phone, texting, is dangerous, and greatly increases the risk of getting into a crash.

Adult drivers need to be more alert, particularly in residential neighborhoods, and in school zones.