Look to the Left, to the Right, and Left Again

Emergency departments treat severe trauma to the brain from cross walk injuries

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It's that time again for our precious bundles of joy to start school. Kids are probably just as excited as parents, but don't forget to teach kids about safety when crossing streets.

Any pedestrian should be aware of safety measures when walking on streets - especially children. Kids need to learn from their parents how to look right and look left before crossing because researchers believe many kids are being injured by cars while walking to school.

"Pay attention to your surroundings when driving."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 are injured each year as pedestrians. Kids who are struck by cars is one of the leading causes of injury at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital from the University of Michigan.

When kids are hit by cars, most of the damage is in the head and torso because of their height, Michelle Macy, M.D., a clinical lecturer of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, says. Many end up in the Emergency Department due to severe trauma to the brain.

Parents need to be proactive and teach their kids about safety when it comes to crossing the streets, Amy Teddy, Injury Prevention Program manager at C.S. Mott, says. Parents should familiarize their children with the best routes to school with the leas amount of traffic crossings, she adds.

Regardless of whether or not your child walks to school, it's still important to teach them the fundamentals to ensure their safety.

Tips for walking on streets:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing
  • Do not run across streets - always walk
  • Walk on sidewalks and paths if available
  • Walk facing traffic and stay as left as possible if sidewalks are not available

Most accidents that happen are caused by distracted drivers. So here are tips for drivers:

  • Drive slowly through residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take the time to look for children near or on the road before and after school hours
  • Focus on your surroundings instead of cell phones - especially near school zones
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 30, 2011
Last Updated:
September 1, 2011