Child pedestrians: The role of parental beliefs and practices in promoting safe walking in urban neighborhoods

Andrea Carlson Gielen, Susan DeFrancesco, David Bishai, Patricia Mahoney, Shiu Ho, Bernard Guyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to describe parents' child pedestrian safety practices, knowledge, risk perceptions, and beliefs. We surveyed 732 parents from four elementary schools in urban neighborhoods that differed in income, and child pedestrian injury risks. Findings indicated that most parents taught their children street safety. Few (16%) knew basic pedestrian safety facts; 46% believed children younger than 10 years could safely cross streets alone; 50% believed a child pedestrian crash was likely. Parents in lower income neighborhoods reported the highest rates of unpleasant walking environments and concerns about drug dealers, crime, violence, and trash. We conclude that education should focus on children's risk, developmental capabilities, and supervision needs. Promoting physical activity in urban neighborhoods, especially lower income ones, must address concerns about the physical and social environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Child pedestrian safety
  • Injury prevention
  • Neighborhood walkability
  • Safety practices
  • Supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Child pedestrians: The role of parental beliefs and practices in promoting safe walking in urban neighborhoods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this