National Walking Month - Walk to School

kid-274310_640This week the Living Streets walk to school campaign begins which aims to encourage children to walk to school (or be walked to school by parents and carers) rather than relying on cars. Lots of schools across the country take part so those of you with children may well of heard about local initiatives you can get involved in. Apparently only 41% of children actually walk to school - 300,000 fewer pupils than just ten years ago, and the main reason is parents worrying about the dangers of congested roads. But by driving children to school, we then contribute to that congestion, particularly around schools, which makes it even more unsafe! According the Living Streets charity one in five of cars on the road in the mornings are taking children to school. And by taking our children by car, we are actually not teaching them the necessary awareness and precautions they need to take to remain safe whilst walking, making it actually more dangerous for them as they get older and have to start walking independently. It’s almost a catch-22 situation.

As well as the safety implication on our roads, the other important consideration is the health of children. Living Streets also quote the very worrying statistic that one in three of our children will leave primary school either overweight or even obese. Our grandparents primarily walked to school and were so much fitter than our children today.

“Walking is the most reliable, easy and healthy modes of travel, yet as a nation walking rates are in shocking decline with damaging consequences for our children’s future,” says the Living Streets Charity.

So this week National Walking Month is trying to encourage us all to find ways of allowing our children to walk to school and you might want to see if you can do the same for your children. Perhaps you could group together with some other parents and children and create a rota to take it in turns to walk the children to school. Or perhaps you could just park a bit further away from the school and walk the last bit, making the roads around the school just that little bit safer and your children just that little bit fitter.