The number of children walking to school has dropped significantly in a generation when 70% of children walked to school, now it is just over half. Many working families can find walking to school difficult due to the pressures of getting to work and taking children to difficult schools or settings. If you can manage to work to school even once or twice a week it can make a big difference to you and your child.
Lewisham roads now have more 20 mile an hour speed limit zones ever before. This is making improvements in road safety. Living Streets say “If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle at 20mph they have a 97% chance of survival. Just 10mph faster it drops to 92% – all for the sake of arriving somewhere slightly earlier. Makes you think, doesn’t it?”
Five ways walking to school can benefit you and your child
- Walking to school helps keep your child healthy. Walking helps keep your child a healthy weight which helps avoid heart disease , improves their mood and gets them ready for an active day at school. Scooting and cycling are also great ways to get some exercise (remember your helmet though).
- Walking to school is fun. What can you see on your walk to school? Can you hear the birds, count how many red cars or do some skipping, hopping or funny walks? Meeting up with friends on the way is also fun for little ones.
- Do your bit for climate change. Leaving the car at home helps the air quality of your area, especially around the school gates. It’s also a really good way to discuss with your children how your family is making a difference.
- It’s a great way to find out how your child is feeling. Many children (especially older ones) can find it hard to remember what’s happened in the day or are reluctant to tell you what’s going on. You can learn a lot about their world on the walk to and from school. What subjects they enjoy or are worried about or what’s happening with friendship groups can tell you a lot about their day. Meeting up with other parents on the way can often lead to finding out about the trip letter in their bag or any useful information. I bet you’ll learn something new!
- It saves money. With petrol prices high and family budgets being squeezed leaving the car at home can save pounds over a school term.