Encouraging Children To Be Bright
If you are a parent, teacher or road safety professional reading this you probably realise how important it is that children can be seen by drivers. Here are some ideas to help you encourage children to be bright.
On the Catwalk
- Being seen doesn't have to mean wearing a yellow jacket; other fluorescent colours are available such as green, pink, red and orange. Bags, hats and umbrellas can also be 'high vis'.
- Demonstrate this by holding a high vis fashion show and ask children to model the different colours and products. See our High Vis Event Pack.
- Encourage children at your local school to start their own 'high vis shop' at lunchtime, after school or at a school Christmas fair. They can choose items, order and sell them on to other students.
- This can link in with a school enterprise project, with children designing the marketing materials (posters, price lists, adverts etc), managing their budget and running the stall.
- See our Reflector Shop Starter Packs.
Be Bright Day
- Hold a 'Be Bright' day at school. Ask everyone to kit themselves out as brightly as possible with extra marks for fluorescent or reflective items. What a change from the usual school uniform colours!
- An option is to collect donations for taking park and use it as a fundraiser for your school (eg to buy road safety teaching resources) or a related charity such as Brake the road safety charity.
- Alternatively ask everyone to be bright in fluorecent, reflective items and dress up one person in each class with as many items as possible... the brightest person wins for their class. (Literally) brilliant for an assembly!
Bling Your Bike
- It's great exercise for children to be out on bikes. When teaching them about helmet safety remember to teach them to be bright too.
- Let them bling their bikes with stick on reflectors and fluorescent spoke reflectors for day and night visibility. Particularly good for side visibility at junctions.
Think Small...Build up Big
- Start with funky small high vis accessories such as our reflective zip clips to clothing; these clips are really appealing and collectable for children.
- The more they add, the brighter they will be.
- For the best visibility it's a good idea to supplement small high vis items with larger ones such as high vis bags.
'Oh no, it's Safety'
- If children don't want to wear high vis 'because it's safety', get them kitted out with duel purpose items, eg a practical, funky high vis bag or bright, cosy fleece beanie hat... so they have other reasons to use it.
- Give them a choice of items and get them kitted out with something they like; if they like it they will wear it. You might have to spend a bit more but it's well worth if it works.
- Creating collages or displays of their own high vis designs is great fun for children in Design and Technology lessons.
- Make sure they know the difference between fluorescent fabrics (neon colours for day/dusk visibility) and reflective materials (shiny plastic or silver grey fabric for night-time visibility) so they can include elements of both in their designs.
- See our activity ideas for teaching about high vis and our range of high vis craft resources... or you can upcycle an old high vis item.
Kit Out the Class
- Do the children from your school all wear high vis when they go out on a group trip (great for group monitoring as well as road safety)?
- If not, could the parents association or a local business sponsor provide funding for a class set? See our article on how to approach businesses for support.
- It will help the children to get used to being bright and helps identify your group, especially if your school name or logo is printed on.
- Adding fluorescent, reflective items to your school uniform list is a fast way to help make all your children safer.
- Some children do not want to stand out from the crowd - but if the 'crowd' are all wearing it then they will not be so self-conscious.
Teens at Night
- Getting teens to be bright is trickier than younger children. They are more likely to be out after dark so reflective materials really matter.
- Even if they aren't into fluorescent colours (for day/dusk brightness), make them safer at night by buying clothes, shoes and bags with reflective elements.
- Dark coats and bags can be brightened up for night by sewing on a strip of reflective tape.
Badges on Bags
- Products popular with teens for day and night brightness are smiley face reflective badges and snapbands.
- High vis badges are a great idea for dark bags because once on they tend to stay on and they are not covered up when outside.
- Freshers Week students at Portsmouth University have been happy recipients of our smile badges, as part of an initiative by the city's road safety team.