Encouraging kids to walk to school has tons of benefits. Walking is great for health, socialising and for the environment. It’s time to ditch the car, put your best foot forward and walk to school!
Statistics from the Department for Transport reveal that road traffic in Britain grew by 80 per cent between 1980 and 2005, and the number of children travelling to school in cars has doubled over the past 20 years. There’s concern that this trend is contributing to reduced physical activity in children and an increase in childhood obesity levels, urban congestion, and air pollution.
The benefits of walking to school
As well as not having to sit in the school run traffic, there are many benefits of walking to school. Here are a few:
Walking to school gives kids (and parents) an ideal chance to catch-up and socialise before the school day begins. This can help them to form bonds with their peers and to feel independent, as well as increasing their road sense and confidence.
A large amount of young people do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise (one hour). A brisk walk to school and back can help children to increase their physical activity. This will leave them feeling refreshed, energised and ready to tackle the day.
The average drive to school and back releases 800g of CO2 into the air – enough to inflate over 60 balloons. Walk to school and you can help to save the planet!
Walking to school incurs no fees. No petrol costs or bus ticket costs; totally free!
Dos and don’ts
- It’s up to parents to decide whether their child is old enough to walk to school on their own or with friends. If you do let them go alone, make sure they know the route inside out.
- Children learn by following an adult’s lead, so it’s important to show them how to cross a road safely at crossings.
- Parents should make sure their children’s footwear is comfortable and their school bag isn’t too heavy as this can cause posture problems.
- Live faraway? Try driving part the way and then walking.
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