With so many young children coming to and from school, parking lot safety is important for us all to remember. Besides driver’s slowing down, here are some tips to help your children remain safe in the parking lot.
Talk it out – Kids behave better when they know what to expect to encounter and what is expected of them. Before you go out the door, talk to your kids about how to behave in the parking lot. Tell them to stay close and never run. Praise them for their good behavior while you are walking to the car and when you get inside.
Lessen the load – If there’s something you can leave in the car, do it! Even children as young as 2 or 3 can carry their own stuff in a small backpack. Do anything that will leave your hands free to take theirs.
Take a “hands on” approach – Even if you can’t hold on to your kids, they can hold onto you. Kids can hold onto your pockets or purse. When standing near the car, they can keep a hand on the car. Giving your child a specific place to hold helps her remember to do so each time.
Make it a Game – Teach children to wait for your signal before venturing off in a parking lot. Say “red light” when you want them to stop, and green light when it’s okay to go. Help your children go slowly by having them walk like they are stuck in gooey mud.
Be Alert – Always teach your children to look both ways before walking into a traffic area. They should see you doing the same. Teach them how to recognize dangers like running cars or corners where a car may turn into their path unexpectedly. Point out these dangers when you see them. Use traffic signals and crosswalks where available.