Slow Children At Play

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Some "slow children at play" signs just say "Slow"

Slow children at play is a common sign seen in American cities urging motorists to slow down.[1] The signs are seen around areas where children frequent, such as playgrounds and schools. They are almost always characterized by the words "Slow Children At Play" and a picture of a child running. They sometimes have a speed limit posted on them.

Sometimes neighborhood residents post impromptu signs after a child is struck by a vehicle.[2] The signs quite often provide fodder for humor at the expense of slow (mentally handicapped) children. Some municipalities will not post "Children at Play" signs. The website of Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Transportation states:

"Children at Play" signs are not approved for use by the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices", the national standard for traffic control signs. The generic message of these signs does not command sufficient motorists attention since motorists are generally aware of the increased possibility of children playing in adjacent yards and sidewalks when they are driving on any residential street.

"Children at Play" signs are inappropriate for public streets since they convey the suggestion that playing on the street is acceptable behavior, which it is not. Additionally, the installation of this sign may lead parents and children to believe they have an added degree of protection which these sign do not provide. [3]


  1. ^ City of San Antonio – Installation of Non-Standard Signs. Retrieved on 2010-12-27.
  2. ^ Williams, Brooke. (2004-08-08) Neighborhood grieves for boy killed by truck | The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved on 2010-12-27.
  3. ^ MCDOT- Traffic Engineering and Operations Archived 2011-04-01 at the Wayback Machine.. (2010-06-15). Retrieved on 2010-12-27.