ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Engaging parents to "Walk with their Kids" in a school-based early childhood pedestrian safety intervention

Cross, Donna, House, Marnie, Hall, Margaret, Darby, Jill

Early Childhood Road Safety


In Australia, road trauma is the leading cause of death among 0-14-year-old children. Empirical and theoretical evidence suggests young children can begin to be trained from 4 years of age to use roads more safely, with parents identified as the best trainers.

This paper describes the Walk with Your Kids: Early Child Pedestrian Injury Prevention Project (ECPIPP).  It outlines the Project aims, methodology, evaluation instruments and the parents/carers and school intervention development and theoretical foundation.

The ECPIPP is a three-year randomised group intervention trial that aims to build the capacity of a cohort of parents/carers and teachers of 4-year-old children to support and protect these children as pedestrians in the road environment.

This innovative parent-directed intervention provides home- and classroom-based resources, whole-of-school activities and strategies to help school staff to actively engage parents in strategies to improve their own and their child?s road safety.  Each family received a video an accompanying parent booklet, innovative home activities and numerous behavioural cues, such as postcards and fridge magnets, to enhance their understanding of the developmental, cognitive and perceptual limitations of children and to translate these understandings into safer pedestrian practice with their kindergarten age child/ren.

This rigorous intervention research trial has the potential to improve the understanding of the relative contribution of parent/school-based interventions in improving road safety for young children and to describe the most effective intervention strategies to support parents to develop their own children?s pedestrian safety.