The week focuses on a variety of different aspects, but the main aim is to raise awareness of the risks children face, and how to prevent accidents from happening. One of the main areas looked at throughout the week is road safety, and how we can help prevent child accidents on the roads.
With the theme in mind, parents are asked to focus on technology in terms of their children using devices as pedestrians and adults using technology in cars. For instance, your older children may already have mobile phones, if not a tablet or portable gaming device. The temptation for children to message friends, watch YouTube videos or send Snapchats on the way home from school can often mean that your child will not be paying 100% attention to their surroundings. As with road safety campaigns in the 90s where youths were encouraged to remove earphones as a distraction for crossing the road, children are also being asked to stop using their devices before crossing any street.
That’s just one facet of road safety that Child Safety Week looks at. The other element is of technology in cars. Some technology has been fantastic, for example sat-navs, hands-free kits for your phone and sensors to warn you if someone doesn’t have their seat belt on. On the other hand, technology can also be a distraction. In 2015, over 5,500 people were caught using a mobile phone at the wheel. This is not only a distraction, it becomes a danger to those in your car, and other road users. It also leads a bad example to your children, who may then grow to develop the same bad habits.
With more than 2,000 child deaths per year attributed to road accidents, there has never been a better time to focus on road safety and the things we can do to protect our children. A huggybelt is a great piece of equipment which can help in the event of a crash, but if we can stop dangers such as technology distractions, we could well prevent crashes happening in the first place.
For more information on how you can get involved in this year’s Child Safety week see the Child Safety Week website.