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Teaching Children Traffic Safety Rules

Children Running
  • According to Safe Kids Canada, over 4,000 children are killed or injured on Canadian roads each year.
  • Parents and caregivers can make a difference.


Children under the age of nine should be accompanied by an adult when crossing the street. (Safe Kids Canada)

Children under nine years of age don’t have the ability to make safe decisions about traffic. They don’t see, hear, or think like adults.

Young children:

    • Can’t see out of the corner of their eyes like adults can. 

    • Believe that if they can see the car, the driver can see them. 

Children under the age of six:

    • May not be able to read traffic lights. By three, most children can match colours. It’s not until age six that children can recognize colours on a regular basis. 

    • Can’t hear which way cars are coming.

    • Have difficulty telling if there is enough time to cross the road safely.

Children under the age of eight:

    • Don’t have the ability to tell how fast a car is going.

    • Believe smaller cars travel faster than larger cars.

    • Children under the age of nine:

    • Don’t have the ability to think quickly in an emergency. 

    • Are easily distracted.


Parents need to teach and practice traffic safety rules with their children.

At age nine, not all children are ready to cross the street on their own. Parents need to make sure their children know the rules and are able to follow them. It is important to start teaching children the rules at an early age. Children need time to practice the rules so they can develop good traffic safety habits for life.

Teaching Tips:

  1. Set a good example. Children copy what adults do.

  2. Start early. Talk to your toddlers about traffic safety rules when you are out walking together.

  3. Use KIDestrians to teach your children the safety rules.

  4. Have your children practise the rules every time you are out walking with them.



KIDestrians is a step-by-step guide to teach children traffic safety rules. The guide has 12 different exercises for parents to use with their children. Here are a few examples:

  • KID BRAKES: Stopping before the edge of the sidewalk at all times

  • Making “Stop, Look, and Listen” a habit

  • Crossing at intersections with traffic lights

  • Crossing the street when playing

Click here to view or download the KIDestrians guide. 


For more information or for a free copy of the KIDestrian guide contact the Intake Nurse at 519-258-2156 ext.1350.



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