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What Should You Teach Your Child About Transport Safety?

From those first few weeks when you spend far too much time checking that your child is breathing (while trying not to wake them), a big part of parenting is keeping your children alive, and teaching them to be aware of their own safety too. So what are the key points you need to impart when it comes to teaching kids about staying safe on the road, and around public transport?

Read Next: Did You Know This About Travelling On Dublin Bus With A Buggy?

New journeys are a great adventure for young children, with plenty of distractions around. That’s why it’s particularly important to keep an eye on your child’s safety and to teach them certain precautions:

On the road

  • Research shows that children under 12 should not cross roads on their own: They may find it hard to judge how far away a car is, and how fast it is going.
  • If there is no footpath, you must walk as near as possible to the right-hand side of the road (facing oncoming traffic).
  • Keep hold of your child's hand at all times.
  • Don't allow your child to cross the road between parked cars. This is very dangerous as a driver will not be able to see your child. They should also be aware of the risks crossing carparks.
  • Lead by example: Choose safe places to cross and explain why i.e. footbridges, zebra or pelican crossings, when the pedestrian traffic light is green, or with the help of a traffic warden.
  • Ensure that your child always stops at the edge of the footpath, and always put the Safe Cross Code into practice.
  • Remember: Children are more likely to follow what you do, not just what you say.

Read Next: How To Teach Your Child About Stranger Danger

On the bus

  • Teach your child to take special care when getting on or off all public transport.
  • Stand well back on the footpath or grass verge while waiting for the bus and until the bus stops.
  • Do not cross the road until the bus has moved off and you can see clearly in both directions.
  • Remain seated while the bus is travelling.
  • Seat belts must always be worn where provided e.g School buses and coaches.
  • Put bags under the seat - never in the aisle or where they could cause a trip hazard.

On the train

On the platform
  • Hold children's hands or make sure they stay next to you on the platform, well behind the yellow line.
  • When you're on the platform, keep your child's pram/buggy away from the edge and apply the brake.
  • Keep off the tracks. Never go down onto the tracks, for any reason. If you drop something, tell train or station personnel.
  • Walk, don't run on platforms
  • Take special care when using stairways, escalators and bridges - particularly in cold or wet weather when conditions may be slippery.
  • Wait for the train to stop before stepping forward.
  • Let people get off the train before you get on.
  • Watch your step and pay special attention to the gap between the train and the platform.  
On board
  • Put your luggage only in the areas provided and do not block the aisles, seats, or wheelchair spaces.
  • Use caution when moving through the carriages on a moving train and use handrails, where provided.
  • Place your child safely into their seat and do not allow your child to run up and down the carriages.
  • If you’re on a longer journey, bring activities and snacks to help keep them calm, and encourage them to stay in their seat. 

Did you know?

DublinBus carried almost 140 million customers last year. So it's no wonder they're keen to highlight the importance of customer safety! Dublin Bus carries 72% of commuters during peak hours on over 1,020 buses across the city and Greater Dublin Area. Plus there’ lots more travel going on outside these peak hours.

But with the increase in smartphones and free Wi-Fi, it is becoming easier for people to get distracted. So part of their challenge is to promote awareness of the buses' safety features and practices. To help this, they’ve launched a new customer awareness video.

So let's make sure that we encourage the next generation to keep aware and stay say, both on and off public transport.

Read Next: 8 Tips For Travelling Safely With Children

What are your main concerns teaching your little one about transport safety? Or what approaches worked in teaching them? We'd love to hear.


About the Author

Emily is our Digital Editor. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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