How to Teach Toddlers the Dangers of Running Towards or in the Street
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Keep up with your tot for safety sake.

A toddler moving from here to there can present a challenge for any mom. When that movement involves darting into the street, it’s time to put the brakes on your little one quickly. A toddler needs you to teach him the limits, especially when it involves danger. He might think it’s great fun to head for the street as fast as he can go, but your safety rules will teach him that the street is off limits.


  1. 1
    Watch your toddler like a hawk whenever she’s outside to head her off before she takes off for the street. You can’t trust her to control the impulse to run when she’s little and you also may get zero warning before she makes a run for it. Hover vigilantly–think “helicopter mom”–and you’ve got the right idea.
  2. 2
    Grab your little one’s hand if he starts to run toward the street. Get down on his level, put your arm around him and look him in the eyes. Tell your little guy, “No street. We don’t run toward the street. Cars drive in the street.”
  3. 3
    Redirect her away from the street to get her busy doing something else. Point out the dog, a bird or a ball to play with–anything to make her think about something other than the street.
  4. 4
    Watch for him to try his street escape again. If he does, this time scoop him up and talk to him earnestly again. Repeat your street message saying, “No street. Do not run toward the street. Cars drive in the street.”
  5. 5
    Walk away from the street with your toddler in your arms to redirect her attention again. Keep holding her for another minute or two while you talk about or look at something else.
  6. 6
    Set him down on his feet again and supervise his play. If he runs for the street again, this time pick him up and say, “I told you no street. Now we’ll go inside because you didn’t listen. We’ll play outside again later.”
  7. 7
    Take your toddler inside and get busy doing something else. Try playing outdoors again later to see if she’ll be ready to play away from the street.


  • It’s all about setting limits, establishing expectations and teaching your tot how to obey. Stay consistent and your little one will learn what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. If he’s not feeling cooperative, take away his ability to play outside and he’ll learn quickly that he has to follow the safety rules to stay outdoors.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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