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Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2011 Mar;18(1):29-36. doi: 10.1080/17457300.2010.503327.

Parental beliefs about supervising children when crossing roads and cycling.

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Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Pedestrian and cyclist injuries are significant public health issues, together accounting for 11-30% of road deaths in highly motorised countries. Children are particularly at risk. In Australia in 2009 11.4% of pedestrian deaths and 6.4% of cyclist deaths comprised children aged 0-16 years. Parental attitudes and level of supervision are important to children's road safety. Results from a telephone survey with parents of children 5-9 years (N = 147) are reported. Questions addressed beliefs about preventability of injury, appropriate ages for children to cross the road or cycle independently and the frequency of holding 5-9 year old children's hands while crossing the road. Results suggest that parents believe most injuries are preventable and that they personally can act to improve their own safety in the home, on the road, at work, as well as in or on the water. Most parents (68%) indicated children should be 10 years or older before crossing the road or cycling independently. Parents were more likely to report holding younger children's hands (5-6 years) when crossing the road and less likely to do so for 7- to 9-year olds. There was a small effect of child gender, with parents more likely to hold a boy's hand than that of a girl.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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