As the ‘beast from the east’ finally shows signs of retreating, families and communities may take the opportunity to venture out on roads which are recovering from snow, ice and flooding. With the clocks going forward, the prospect of longer days, better temperatures and bank holidays can put more traffic on the roads.

With the changing season, it’s all the more important to ensure that babies and children are safe in cars. Car seats especially may need to be checked for size with growing children. Drivers need to remain as watchful for the child that could stray onto the road or the young cyclist, as they are when avoiding that pothole.  

Families going out and about on foot need to take special care in crossing busy roads and in keeping hold of toddlers’ hands in car parks and shopping areas.      

Road accidents

Road accidents make up around 1 in 15 of all deaths of children aged 5 to 14. They also cause serious injuries.

Thanks to concerted efforts by government and local organisations, these numbers have been falling steadily. You can play your part in reducing the numbers still further by advising parents or practising road safety with the children you look after.

Remember that drivers have a really important part to play – speed is literally a matter of life and death for children in road accidents. So if you drive yourself, or work with parents who drive, there’s a lot you can do to keep children safer on the roads.

We recommend CAPT’s colourful picture booklet It’s fun to go out but…, which highlights the most common dangers with simple language and illustrations. How safe is your child in the car? has more detail about the types of restraint for children in the car. 

Around the car

If a car is reversing in a car park or a driveway the driver may not be able to spot small children if they are below the level visible from their rear or side windows. It’s safest to hold your child’s hand in car parks just as you would when crossing the road.

Store your car keys safely to reduce the risk of your child getting hold of them and starting the car.

More information