Waterloo Region has launched a public safety campaign aimed at pedestrians with an emphasis on urging parents to teach their children how to cross the street properly, because according to a public health nurse, many children never learn how.

Waterloo Region Public Health nurse Colleen Cooper said Monday that while crossing the street is considered a basic skill, it's often overlooked by parents and, as a result, never taught to their children.

"In this day and age, many children don't even have the opportunity to walk anywhere because their parents tend to drive them everywhere," she said.

"As a result, they could end up growing up without actually having learned the ability to cross the street properly."

Cooper encouraged parents to regularly take their children on walks through their own neighbourhood.

"Teach your children how to cross the street and that doesn't mean you as the parent making the decision. It means going to the curb, showing your children how to look left, right, left again and also over their shoulder for cars that might be coming around the corner, and then ask your child, 'do you think it's safe for us to cross now?'"

Cooper said it's up to parents to take the time to teach their kids how to cross the street properly.

However, Waterloo Region Public Health recommends that most kids aren't ready to cross the street by themselves until they're at least age 9 or 10.

Out of 11 fatal collisions on roads patrolled by Waterloo Regional Police last year, investigators said that six involved pedestrians being struck by vehicles.