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Facts for Life

Injury prevention

Supporting Information


Young children are at risk on or near the roads. They should not play on or near the road and should always have someone older with them when they are near or crossing a road. They should wear a helmet when on a bicycle or motorcycle and should be securely strapped into an age-appropriate child restraint when being transported in a vehicle.

Why it is important - All key messages - First aid advice - Resources

Children may be hurt when they are crossing or walking along roads, or if they play near roads. Young children do not think before they run onto the road.

Families need to:

  • watch children carefully
  • fence the house and close the gate to prevent young children from running onto the road
  • teach young children never to cross or walk along a road unless accompanied by an adult or older child
  • prevent children from playing near the road
  • teach children not to run after balls, moving toys or kites that go on or near the road
  • instruct children to walk on the side of the road, facing traffic
  • if there is a sidewalk, teach children to use it rather than walk on the road.

When crossing the road, young children should be taught to:

  • stop at the side of the road
  • look both ways
  • listen for cars or other vehicles before crossing
  • hold the hand of another person
  • walk, not run
  • in urban areas, use pedestrian crossings
  • avoid crossing the road at a curve or between parked cars
  • avoid crossing roads with high-speed traffic.

Children are also at high risk of serious injury if they travel in the front seat of a car, unsupervised on the bed of a truck or agricultural machinery, or on a motorcycle.

In a car, children should use an age-appropriate child restraint or a booster seat until they are 150 centimetres tall or 10 years old, when they are big enough to use an adult seat belt.

While travelling with parents or other caregivers on a motorbike, all passengers, including children, should wear a helmet that is securely strapped under the chin so it cannot come off in case of an accident.

Bicycle accidents are a frequent cause of injury and death among children. All children should learn road safety and wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bike.

For first aid advice on injuries, refer to the end of this chapter.

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