With youth soccer participation at an all-time high, it’s important to avoid the potential dangers of dropping off and picking up your player. When parking lots get crowded, kids are rushing around to make their games and cars are zooming around for parking spots, make safety the number one concern.
Here are four tips to ensure safety when dropping off or picking up your child:
1. “Hurry up” Is Your Worst Enemy
Adults aren’t the only people that fall victim to being in a hurry. Kids love to run through parking lots and in between cars in a rush to start playing, often forgetting to look both ways. That’s why it’s important to take a strong safety-in-the-streets stance to prevent parking lot accidents. While punctuality is a virtue, rushing—and carelessness—isn’t.
2. Player Drop off Awareness
If there isn’t a convenient and safe curbside to drop off your player, make sure to choose a drop off spot where your child will not need to maneuver through moving vehicles, cross busy roads or be faced with any safety hazards to arrive to their destination. Always pick a location with a free path to the field. If there isn’t one, make sure to park and walk your child to their destination.
3. Evaluate Traffic Patterns
Be aware of how traffic moves around the parking lot, surrounding streets and the field. Is it a high traffic area where kids will have to deal with moving traffic? Are there parked cars on both sides of the street where it may be difficult to see kids crossing? Answering these kinds of questions will help you better evaluate the safety needs of everyone involved and act accordingly to ensure your player’s safety.
4. Potholes and Cracked Roads
Look out for cracked roads, crumbling concrete and unstable asphalt in drop off locations. These hazards are dangerous to everyone: pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Don’t assume your child will be observant when he’s trying to get to his games. Be sure to remind him (or walk him) to be cautious of these dangers. If there’s an obvious hazard, such as a big pothole, don’t wait for someone else to do something about it—bring it to the immediate attention of the traffic and/or parks department. Pave the way to improved street safety!