MILWAUKEE (10/5/2009) - This year, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has treated 116 children for injuries received as a result of a pedestrian-related accident. All of the accidents involved a car hitting a child, and more than half of the injuries children received were severe enough to be admitted to Children's Hospital. Pedestrian injuries are the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14. Children younger than 10 never should cross the street alone. Make sure your children follow these safety guidelines when walking to school:
- Choose the safest route and walk it with your children. Look for the most direct route with the fewest street crossings. Advise them to take the same route every day and avoid shortcuts.
- Obey all traffic signals and markings. A "walk" sign is not an automatic "go" signal. It means you have permission to cross, but must first stop and look both ways.
- Stop at the curb or edge of the road and to look left, right and left again for traffic before and while crossing.
- Never enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs. Darting into the street accounts for the majority of pedestrian deaths among children.
- Cross the street at corners or crosswalks. Make sure children allow plenty of time to cross. Teach them to walk, not run, across intersections.
- Tell your children to listen to adult crossing guards and safety patrols.
- Warn children to be extra alert in bad weather. Visibility might be poor and motorists might not be able to stop quickly.
- Demonstrate proper pedestrian safety by being a good role model. Your children need you to tell them and show them how to be safe.
International Walk to School Day is Wednesday, Oct. 7. Communities across Wisconsin will participate in "Walk this Way" events. Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition will partner with metro-Milwaukee agencies and school districts to walk children to school. Classroom activities also will be conducted to teach children important walking safety tips.
"Walking is an important and healthy activity, but everyone needs to do their part to keep this activity safe for kids," said Lisa Klindt Simpson, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin coordinator. "Parents and caregivers should teach children safe behaviors, and drivers must be aware and on the lookout for children on or near the road."
Volunteers will walk children to school in order to demonstrate important safety behaviors as part of International Walk to School Day 2009.
Wednesday, Oct. 7
7:30 a.m.: Ralph Waldo Emerson School. Parents and students will meet at Lindsay Park, located at N. 84th and W. Congress streets near the baseball diamond, and walk to their school, located at 9025 W. Lawrence Ave.
**A news conference will be held at the Ralph Waldo Emerson School playground following the walk. In the event of rain, it will be held in the school gymnasium.
8 a.m.: General Mitchell Elementary School. A walk will take place at the school's track, located at 5950 S. Illinois Ave.
8 a.m.: J. E. Jones Elementary School. Parents and students will meet at the corner of Grange and Swift avenues and walk to their school, located at 5845 S. Swift Ave.
8 a.m.: Kosciuszko Elementary School. Parents and students will meet at the corner of Grange and Swift avenues and walk to their school, located at 5252 S. Kirkwood Ave.
8 a.m.: Lincoln Elementary School. Parents and students will meet at two locations: the corner of Lipton and Whittaker avenues and the southeast corner of Packard and Layton avenues and walk to their school, located at 4416 S. Packard Ave.
7:45 a.m.: Parkview Elementary School. Parents and students will meet at two locations: the corner of Nicholson and Edgerton avenues and Grange and Barland avenues and walk to their school, located at 5555 S. Nicholson Ave.
8 a.m.: Decorah School. Parents and children will meet at the public parking area located at Vine and Main streets across from the police station, and walk to their school, located at 1225 Sylvan Way.