Whatever is happening out in the big wide world, we can still run, cycle and, of course, take the kids to school or nursery.
However you travel to school or nursery keeping everyone safe and seen is essential. You might walk, scoot, scycle or even drive and all tend to involve some interaction with other road and pavement users.
At the time of writing, the sun is going down not long past 4pm and we've still got six weeks until winter arrives. Add to that some fairly dismal days, and we're often moving around in less than bright sunshine. With this in mind, it pays to be wary when crossing roads, walking on pavements, moving around car parks and traversing driveways.
As you're probably aware, we're pretty keen on the benefits of high visibility accessories which are both reflective and come in a range of bright colours.
If, like many others, your children wear school uniform it's likely that the bottom half will come in one of an array of either black, navy or grey; basically a dark colour. If you're then wearing a dark coat as well, it can render a child pretty much unseen at night.
Coats aren't a cheap thing to replace which is why a highviz accessory can be the answer. Pick of the pops in this situation is a highvis reflective sash which can be worn over a jacket and popped in a pocket when not needed.
For those of you that are happier on two wheels, whether cycling or scoooting, abright and reflective helmet cover could be the answer. It adds to your visibility and, in the case of our helmet covers, they're waterproof too.
Whether you go for a helmet cover or a reflective sash, both are adaptable, easy to use and long-lasting as they're both adjustable.
So why do we need to be bright and reflective? The bright aspect of your clothing or appearance is how you (or your child) will be seen during daylight hours, when there is some natural light. The reflective features do just that: reflect lights eg headlamps or street lights when shone on so ideal for night when car lights and other light sources are active.
Watch out for parked cars
Going back to our earlier reference to parked cars, it's natural to assume a parked car is just that: parked. However, all cars move of at some point and we're not always aware of when that's likely to happen. Cars coming and going from the side of a pavement or a car park can be especially prevalent at school drop off and collection times.
Unfortunately, even when a driver has looked in their rear view or wing mirrors, a smaller child may not be visible. Make sure you leave a large gap between you and the rear of any parked cars so if it should move without prior warning, you've got some time to react ie drag your kid out of the way!
Forewarned is forearmed
Driveways are a good example of another potentially unforeseen hazard, particularly for children. Cars often reverse out of drives meaning visibility can be reduced for the driver, and if a child is wandering on ahead or behind, they may not be keeping an eye out. We teach our children to stop when they get to the end of a pavement but not always to be aware of other routes vehicles might take and not all drivers are as considerate or as alert as they should be! Make children aware of paying attention to driveways, roads/pavements that have no kerbs distinction and cycle lanes.
I want to hold your hand
Speed awareness and spatial awareness take time to develop in us all. While your older children might not like the idea of holding hands on a general level, try to encourage it when crossing roads. They can make their own judgements about when is safe to cross, but with you holding their hand it's a safety net in case their judgement isn't quite 100% yet (a good comparison is the second set of pedals in a driving instructor's car!).
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