Head Up, PhonesDown Campaign Teaches Kids Safety While Walking
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Head Up, PhonesDown Campaign Teaches Kids Safety While Walking

Thursday, November 09, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

In the United States, over 40 kids a day are hit by a car while walking, most often during the hour before and after school. People of all ages, but especially teens, can be seen on their phones walking through parking lots and while waiting on corners to cross at crosswalks. Some even stop in the middle of the sidewalk or parking lot to text on their phones. Distractions equal danger. As a pedestrian, even in a parking lot, the best tools for keeping safe are your eyes and ears. Kids need to be taught the importance of using their senses and not letting themselves be distracted by a cell phone or headphones.

In 1995, children ages 5 to 9 were most often struck by vehicles when walking. This has shifted and now it is more likely a teenager will be hit by a car than a younger child. The National Safety Council believes this is in large part due to the increase in texting and distracted walking by that age group.

The National Safety Council has established a “Head Up, Phone Down” campaign to encourage kids to stay off their phones while walking. The NSC suggests the following to keep kids alert to dangers while walking:

  • Keep head up and be aware of surroundings
  • Don’t walk with headphones on
  • Never walk while talking on a cell phone or texting
  • If you do text, stop on the sidewalk and move to the side out of the way
  • Always walk on a sidewalk
  • Look both ways before crossing any street and cross only at crosswalks

The National Safety Council is hoping the “Head Up, Phone Down” campaign will get the word out to communities that distracted walking can kill. Children, especially teens, need to use their sense of sight and sound to protect themselves whenever they are walking, especially in the vicinity of cars.

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