Child pedestrians: 10 - 14 years

How big a problem is it?

Walking is an essential part of children and teenagers' lives. It provides an opportunity for them to learn about their environment, explore their surroundings, and improve their fitness. The developmental stage they are at and where they live puts pre-teens and teens at a greater risk of being injured or killed as pedestrians. In New Zealand, more than 6 children are killed each year from a pedestrian-related injury. Injury to pedestrians is a leading cause of traffic-related deaths.

On average, nearly 30 pedestrians of this age group were hospitalised as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle.

Who does it affect?

This group of older children 10 - 14 years are at risk of being killed while a pedestrian when involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash. For the period 2004 - 2013 this age group was affected to a similar extent as the very young 0 -4 age group. More Māori than non-Māori were killed as pedestrians than non-Maori children over those years. Young people living in areas of higher social deprivation have significantly higher rates of pedestrian injury.

Top Tips

  • When there's no pedestrian crossing, be patient and cross the road only when it's safe to do so (it takes time for a vehicle to stop).

Then use the kerb drill:

  1. Stop one step back from the kerb.

  2. Look and listen for traffic coming from all directions.

  3. If there is traffic coming, wait until it has passed and then look and listen for traffic again.

  4. If there is no traffic coming, walk quickly straight across the road.

  5. While crossing, look and listen for traffic, wherever it may come from.

  • Explain why it’s important to watch, wait and listen for passing cars before crossing the street, and to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. 

  • Teach your youngsters to put their phones down and keep their heads up when crossing the road. This is particularly important for pre-teens who are easily distracted by their devices. 

  • Make sure that, where possible, your children stick to the footpaths. If there isn’t one, tell them to walk facing the traffic, keeping to the far right.

There is good research indicating that the following interventions reduce the risk of injury and death for young pedestrians:

  • good practice interventions that reduce inequities in injury for Māori and Pacific children and those living in high deprivation

  • lower speed limits based on risk prediction and need

  • area-wide traffic calming on risk prediction and need

  • prioritising areas where the most at-risk regularly walk and congregate

  • local government design guidelines that include driveway safety information such as avoiding long driveways and separation of driveways from play areas


First Aid

If your child has been involved in a car crash they may have bone fracture or a serious head injury and are in pain or for any of the following reasons, call 111 immediately. Do this if your child:

  • is, or has been, unconscious (can’t be woken up)

  • is being sick or seems sleepy

  • has trouble breathing

  • bleeding and you can’t stop the bleeding

  • there is bleeding from an ear.


There are also some things you can do straight away:

  • Fractures First Aid

Keep the injured arm or leg still. Someone who knows how to might use a splint to keep it still.
You can support the injured arm or leg with a pillow or sling.
Raise the arm or leg higher than the heart to help reduce swelling.
Your child will need pain relief.
If your child does not need an ambulance take them to the nearest hospital Emergency Department

  • Brain injury/loss of consciousness First Aid

Follow DRS ABCD for start CPR

D Dangers? Check for any dangers to yourself such as electricity or traffic.
R Responsive? Check responsiveness by calling loudly and shaking the child's arm.
S Send for help. Dial 111 and confirm an ambulance is on its way. Use the appropriate emergency number in other countries.
A Airway. Open the airway by moving the head into a neutral position and lifting the chin. Do not tilt the head back too far.
B Breathing. Look and feel for movement of the lower chest and stomach area. Listen and feel for air coming from the nose or mouth.
C CPR. If the child is not breathing, start CPR - 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Put the child on a firm surface. Place 2 fingers of one hand (for a baby) or the heel of one hand (for a child) in the centre of the chest just below the nipples. Push down hard and fast 30 times in about 15 seconds (push down one-third of chest depth).
Once you have completed 30 compressions (pushes) on the chest, breathe into the baby's mouth 2 times. Seal your lips around the baby's mouth and nose. For a child over 1, you may need to breathe into their mouth and pinch their nose closed. Gently puff into the child until you see their chest rise.
Continue with the cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths until the ambulance arrives.
D Defibrillator. Attach defibrillator as soon as it is available and follow prompts.

The CPR advice is from the KidsHealth website and a page containing the Basic Life Support Flow Chart. The Basic Life Support Flow Chart is developed by the New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Australian Resuscitation Council. For more information see 

Links to Safekids Resources

Pedestrian Injury Prevention Resources

Links to other organisations resources


The Kerb Drill

How to stay safe when walking

NZTA - Feet First

Pedestrian Planning Guide


Walk Auckland

Living Streets Aotearoa