As a parent, you quickly develop eyes in the back of your head. Our little ones don’t always consider safety as a priority and it’s our job to keep them safe from harm and injury. Unfortunately, one of the most common places that child accidents and fatalities occur, is in parking lots. Dangerous, distracted and negligent drivers could easily hit you or your child, even if you’re simply piling your groceries into the back on your vehicle. Speak with this Chicago based personal injury attorney if you or your child have been involved in a car accident either as a pedestrian or in the car.
And it’s not just moving vehicles that pose a threat to your unsuspecting child, hazards like potholes, cracks in the asphalt, unfixed drain covers, poor lighting and even glass and debris can all result in a trip to the emergency room.
It’s every parents’ worst nightmare. So, with this in mind, we’ve gathered some simple, yet highly effective parking lot safety tips for busy families. Read on to find out more.
Give your child the right information
One minute they’re right next to you as you rummage for your car keys in your bag and the next they’re making their own way between cars and empty spaces, utterly oblivious to the danger they’re in. You educate your child and tell them that while it’s ok to play and have fun in the backyard or in the playground, in the parking lot it’s not safe.
Make sure they know that cars might not see them because they’re small. Emphasize the importance of walking not running and how running around the parking lot means that a vehicle (even a slow-moving one) might not see them in time.
Go over these rules before you get out
If you’ve just arrived at the zoo, or the park and your little ones are eager to get out and have some fun, then you need to strongly reiterate the importance of parking lot safety. Make sure they’re looking at you and making eye contact as you remind them of how to keep safe. Do this every time you park up somewhere.
When you’re walking through the parking lot, tell your child it’s important that you hold hands so everyone can stay safe. This isn’t always easy if you have a stroller or a heavy grocery cart to content with. If this is the case, ask your child to hold onto the cart or hold onto your sleeve etc, so they’re close to you and you know where they are.
Finally, the safety spot!
A popular and effective method of parking lot safety is the safety spot approach. Say you’re the only adult who’s looking after two or more children, you get the older ones out first, followed by the infant. While you’re busy unbuckling the baby, your other children could wander off or forget your parking lot safety instructions. The safety spot means asking the children to place their hands on the fuel cap, another part of the vehicle or a specific brightly colored sticker and stand still whilst they wait for you.
This method gives them focus and a sense of responsibility. And if they do it well and follow your instruction – reward them!