It’s Walk to School Week!

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It’s a worrying fact that these days only about 50 per cent of primary school children walk to school. In 1971 it was almost 90 per cent – and although those were the days of kids going to schools that were closer to home and less traffic on the roads, it’s still a disappointing statistic.

Children are missing out on the benefits of fresh air, exercise and quality time with their parents, and so UK walking charity Living Streets is encouraging all parents of school age children in the UK to leave the cars at home for a change and join in with Walk to School Week.

Walking to school makes children feel healthier and happier, while reducing congestion and pollution outside the school gates, and there are plenty of other great reasons for walking your children to school if you can. These include;

Getting some exercise first thing in the morning – lots of people don’t get enough exercise and something simple like walking your kids to school will give you and your children a little fitness boost to get your day going. Walking to school doesn’t cost anything and it gives you a good opportunity to chat to your child about their day, and what’s on their mind.

It might benefit your child for the rest of the day at school – research shows that children who walk to school tend to arrive in a calmer frame of mind than those who are driven, and in a better mood, ready to cope with the demands of the classroom.

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You can teach your little ones about road safety as you walk to school, and talk to them about different road signs, how to use pedestrian crossings and cross the road safely.

Parking close to the school gates can be inconvenient and sometimes even dangerous. If you don’t have to find a parking space you can leave in good time and arrive without the stress of last minute parking wars.

Think of the environment too –  statistics show that around 20 per cent of all rush hour traffic is down to people doing the school run. Walking to school means that there will be one less car on the road, which can only be a good thing for reducing congestion and pollution.

For those of you who really can’t walk to school with your children because you’re out of the catchment area and it’s just too far, you can always improvise.  Try parking a little further away from the school gates instead; you’ll find it much easier to park and you can walk the rest of the way.

For more advice and ideas on how to walk your kids to school, and not just for National Walk to School Week, check out the website: Walk to School Week

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