Walking to school safely
Walking your kids to school is not only good for your health, it can help children develop road safety skills, reduce traffic at drop off time and is a win for the environment.
Do you have fond memories of walking to school with your siblings or friends but worry about your little ones going alone? There are lots of ways to dodge drop off traffic and help children walk to school safely.
As well as being a great way to encourage children to lead active lives, it can also help kids get their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
A walking ‘school bus’
With a parent at the front ‘driving’, and one at the back, this foot patrol is a great way to get children to and from school safely. Just like a normal bus, it makes stops along the way to pick up children. The idea is to not only encourage kids to get out and walk, but also teach them about road safety and reduce traffic around school zones.
It can be a great way to make friends, not only for the kids but for grownups too. It can also help out those who are time poor as the ‘driver’ can rotate depending on the availability of responsible adults. Your school can let you know if there is a ‘walking bus’ in your local area, or perhaps you could start your own
Walk to school together
If you are able to fit a walk to school into your morning or afternoon routine it’s a great way to be active as a family. It might even help mum, dad and the family dog stay in shape. If you’re short on time perhaps you could alternate with another school mum or dad that lives close by.
Walking your child to school is a great chance to spend time together but also an opportunity to speak to your child about stranger danger and identify safe places within the community. It’s also a great way to demonstrate and practice crossing the road safely and being aware of traffic.
Walking with friends
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When your child is old enough and confident on the road, you might want to encourage your child to walk to school with friends. Or if you have responsible older siblings perhaps they could walk their younger brother or sister to school.
Every child is different, so there is no one size fits all guideline for parents on when children can start to walk to school safely without an adult. Kidsafe
suggests children under 10-years-old aren’t ready to be left alone around traffic.