Road traffic injuries are one of the four leading causes of death among children over five years of age worldwide. Road traffic injuries are the second leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 14 in China, according to the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On the eve of the June 1 International International Children’s Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a reminder on how to improve children’s safety in travel.
Children have limited physical, cognitive and social development and are therefore more vulnerable to road traffic than adults:
- 1. Because children are small, it is difficult for them to see the traffic around them, and it is not easy for drivers and others to find them.
- 2. Children’s head is softer and more prone to severe head injury than adults if they encounter road traffic accidents.
- 3. Young children may also have difficulties in understanding images and sounds, thus affecting their ability to judge the distance, speed and direction of moving vehicles.
- 4. Young children are also more impulsive, and they stay focused for a shorter period of time.
The World Health Organization recommends that children’s road safety be improved through multifaceted measures such as people, cars and roads. As parents of our children, we can do this:
1. Be responsible for guardianship. Children’s ability to assess risks is limited, so parents should always monitor their children’s traffic behavior, such as holding their children while crossing the road and not letting them play on the road.
2. Wear reflective vests for children, use reflective strips on clothing or backpacks, etc., to increase children’s chances of being seen. Being seen is the first step to safety.
3. When children travel, use children’s seats corresponding to their age, height and weight. The study found that when a child is hit by a car crash, he or she is 70% less likely to die if the reverse seat is used correctly, and 54%-80% less likely to die if the child uses the right seat correctly.
Children under the age of 4 or 12 should not ride bicycles on the road. Children should wear helmets correctly when they are learning to ride or have fun in parks or neighborhoods-helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by 69 per cent and serious head injuries by more than 70 per cent.
5, as a parent, but also pay attention to lead by example. Parents are a model for their children to learn; the safety habits shown by parents when they participate in traffic are likely to be followed by their children.
In addition, everyone, as an ordinary traffic participant, can contribute to children’s traffic safety:
1. When participating in the traffic, we should take care of the children around us, taking into account their height, risk perception and other characteristics, and participate in the traffic more cautiously. For example, inspect the perimeter of a vehicle before starting it to detect and eliminate potential risks ahead of time.
2. abide by traffic laws and regulations. No, DUI. Don’t look at your phone when you’re driving. Comity to passersby.
3. Control the speed. In particular, on child-intensive roads, such as schools, residential areas, etc., the speed decreased to less than 30 km per hour.
Children are part of the transport sector and, because of their limited physical development and cognitive level, are at greater risk of participating in transport than adults. Therefore, to improve children’s travel safety, on the one hand, we need to continue our efforts to improve the overall road traffic safety, such as, reduce speeding and drunk driving, improve road design, improve the safety of vehicles and so on. On the other hand, we need to take targeted measures to protect children, such as wearing bright clothes to improve their visibility, the correct use of children’s seats to improve their safety in the car and so on.