Going to school alone: ​​at what age, precautions, safety

Your little one has grown up and can go to school alone. However, this journey so banal with mom can be strewn with pitfalls once in autonomy. Here are the precautions and safety instructions to teach him before letting him trace his route!

  go alone'école : à quel âge, précautions, sécurité

Your child is now old enough to go to school on their own. A route that he knows by heart, but of which he does not yet know all the subtleties that could put him in a delicate situation. Especially since it is at the age of 12 years , when entering college , that children are most at risk of accidents as pedestrians. Here are the safety rules to teach him, and all the parameters to take into account to allow him to go to school with complete peace of mind.

Children, vulnerable on the way to school

Toddlers are particularly vulnerable, due to their small size which does not allow them to be as visible as an adult on the road by drivers, but also because until about 7 years old, a child is not able to see what is happening on the sides. And if he sees a car coming, he's sure the driver sees it too! Little schoolchildren also have difficulty judging distances and where the sounds are coming from. In effect, ' In 40% of cases, the child is mistaken between a noise coming from the front or from behind and in 80% between a noise coming from the right or the left ', says the association. In addition, children are often dominated by their emotions (stress, anxieties), sometimes act impulsively and spontaneously, and can only focus on one thing at a time.

From what age can a child be allowed to go to school alone?

' It is only around the age of 10 or 12 that a child is really able to foresee the evolution of situations and to anticipate ', specifies the Road Safety. And before 7 years, there is no question of leaving him alone in the street , because he does not have the capacity to ensure his own safety. So here are some pointers:

  • At 7 years old, a child can walk on its own without holding hands with its parents, but that does not mean that it can move on its own all the time.
  • ' Between 7 and 8 years old, he knows and knows how to anticipate, in principle, the dangers of the road “, explains the association. These are the first trips with a group of friends for example, provided that they know how to spot the risks and react correctly.
  • In any case, parents should not allow their child to walk alone on the street only if the route is safe (not necessarily the shortest) and that they understand the dangers of the road.

How to avoid risks on the way to school?

In order not to put her child in dangerous situations, the Road safety advise' d' anticipate the departure to school to avoid stress and anxiety '. The child must be able to take his time on the way to school, which will allow him to wait quietly to cross at the right time. Before you let him go, ask your child to take you to school to check that all learning has been acquired. For that, you have to start teach him to observe the environment from 3 years old , in an educational and permanent way, advises Road Safety. From an early age, give him a hand in the street systematically, teach him to walk on the side of the houses and not the sidewalk, explain why and how avoid the 'traps' (garage exits, works...), take advantage of a quiet street to show him how to cross safely... Finally, give him the example, by showing him that you wait until the guy be green before entering the pedestrian crossing, and checking well to the left, then to the right, so that your instructions are not contradicted by your actions.

At what age can he cycle to school?

Do not let your child ride alone before the age of 12 , advocates Road Safety. Indeed, your child must know how to do much more than 'simply' balance. ' Riding a bicycle also means: starting without zigzagging, riding straight, even at slow speeds and even when cornering, braking to stop at a specific place, before the obstacle ', reminds the association. Help your child train by planning maneuverability exercises in a protected place, without traffic, and do not forget the safety equipment on the bike ( helmet , vest, bell, lighting and signaling, etc.).

The 'Cycling Week at School' and the 'Know How to Ride a Bike' program

The Tour de France, which ends on September 20 in Paris, is this year an opportunity for the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports (MENJS) to promote the development of cycling by throwing the Bike week at school . From September 14 to 20, all schools and establishments in Tour stopover towns are invited to develop teaching, educational, cultural and sporting actions related to cycling. For the occasion, the French Cycling Federation is offering discovery operations and initiations in the 'Know how to ride a bike' program in schools in or near stopover towns.

Proposed by the government since April 2019, 'Knowing how to ride a bike' is intended for children from 6 to 11 years old who can follow 10 hour training supervised by professionals. This device aims to train young people to give them the necessary keys that will allow them to ride a bike alone on the public highway, before the entrance to college. Your child will learn to master the basics of cycling, ride safely and be independent on public roads. Offered throughout France, this training course, which costs around 50 euros, is offered by many partners of the 'Savoir Rouler à Vélo' Program, such as the French Cycling Federation, the Federation of Bicycle Users or the Union Sports and Cycling. To find the course closest to you, visit www.savoirrouleravelo.fr

What you should not do

Road Safety advises parents not to ask 'the big one' to take or bring back the little brother or sister with him after school, for the sake of convenience. ' At 10-12 years old, a child is not yet mature enough to take on responsibility to support a younger child every day. He must already be concerned about his own safety and it would be difficult for him to manage at the same time that of a small, possibly turbulent, or less obedient than with his parents. “, explains the association. Not to mention the psychological consequences in the event of an accident on the child who was responsible for it.

Make your child more visible

Tips for making your child visible to everyone .

In winter, night falls very quickly, and it is almost dark outside school! So that your child is visible to all, equip his clothes and his backpack retroreflective tapes or stickers, which reflect the light from the headlights towards the drivers. An effective system that makes a pedestrian visible at more than 150 meters, compared to 30 meters without this equipment. Some satchels are particularly suitable, such as the model Tennessee Security Protect for example which has a fluorescent and reflective cover. It attaches to the front of the bag with Velcro and can be stored discreetly during the day in an inside pocket.

A GPS tracker to track your child remotely . The Weenect Kids GPS tracker is connected to parents' smartphones to reassure them when their children go to school alone. Schoolchildren then gain autonomy: they are free, and can notify their parents at any time if necessary. They then locate their toddler in real time and receive an alert on their mobile phone when they arrive at school, or when they leave to go home. In addition, the telephone function allows parents and child to stay in touch in all circumstances. Other alternatives to the mobile phone are offered to parents, such as the KiwipWatch watch, which acts as a watch and a phone, with an integrated geolocation system.
Source journaldesfemmes.fr