Encouraging your child to take to their feet and walk to school has many health, social, and environmental benefits for them and the whole family. Put your best foot forward and start the school day with a stroll today!
What are the benefits of walking to school?
- Reduces childhood obesity and illnesses such as type 2 diabetes associated with this can be prevented by regular exercise including walking.
- Walking helps protect the body from many serious illnesses later on in life.
- A brisk walk to school can help with daily exercise and arrive at school or home, refreshed and energised.
- Walking can have a positive effect on a child’s emotional wellbeing. It can encourage independence, road sense and also be an opportunity to chat with friends.
- Encouraging your child to walk to school will save you money on transport fares or petrol money.
Walking to school dos and don’ts
- It is up to you as a parent to decide when your child is old enough to walk to school alone or with friends. Always make sure your child is familiar with the route and keeps in contact with you should they be late home. This is particularly useful when your child starts secondary school as you can practice the route to school over the holidays so you and your child feel confident with this new chapter in their life.
- Model good road safety yourself at all times – children learn by example so it’s vital to show them they must cross at crossings.
- Check your child’s footwear is comfortable and appropriate for walking. You could bring trainers for the walk and they could change their shoes once at school.
- Make sure your child’s school bag isn’t too heavy as this can cause back problems and poor posture.
- If you live far from the school you could try combining alternative transport with walking, or drive part of the way.
- Make walking fun and enjoyable for your child. Chat about the local surroundings, and encourage your child to talk about their school day.
- Find out if there are any schemes in your local area such as ‘walking buses‘ for groups of school children.
The Walk to School campaign offers tips and ideas to help teachers and parents get children excited about walking.
For further information on this, please see http://www.walktoschool.org.uk/