With national ‘Walk safely to school day’ just around the corner, Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon is challenging local families to dust off their sneakers, tighten their laces and establish a regular walking routine.
Ms Scanlon said walking was not just an enjoyable pastime, but also a great way to lead a healthy lifestyle and help reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
“This Friday May 18 is ‘Walk safely to school day’ so I encourage families here in Gaven to join their children in travelling by foot to school,” she said.
“Regular physical activity can contribute to better academic performance and help children to stay active.
“This is also a great time for families to teach their young children how to cross roads safely and build their skills in how to react safely in different traffic circumstances.”
Ms Scanlon said it’s important to remember, for example, that children under ten years of age should always hold the hand of an adult while crossing roads.
“Walking to school is also a great time to build family relationships by spending time together, discussing and enjoying the natural environment,” she said.
“We need to teach children how to be active by example, which is even more important in this age of electronic devices.
“I hope as many families as possible take part in ‘Walk safely to school day’, and I hope even more will take up the challenge to incorporate walking into their daily routine.”
Ms Scanlon said that families and carers could embrace this challenge to suit their lifestyle, walking from home or choosing to walk some of the distance to school.
The Pedestrian Council of Australia organises this important annual event across Australia, with primary schools welcome to register to take part.
“There are some great tips on how to get involved when the preference for walking all the way to school just isn’t possible, such as parking a few blocks away and walking the rest of the distance, or walking to the next bus or train stop when catching public transport,” she said.
Pedestrian Council of Australia Chairman/CEO Harold Scruby said that research had shown that parents tended to underestimate their children’s preference to walk to school.
“Research has proven that the vast majority of children actually prefer to walk to school,” Mr Scruby said.
“Walking is a great form of exercise and it’s relatively easy to build it into our existing routines.
“We are suggesting that parents who need to drive part way to school could ‘park and stride’ together with their children, which also reduces vehicle emissions around schools from idling cars,” Mr Scruby said.
All Queensland primary schools have been sent a ‘Walk safely to school day’ promotional pack. Further information and free stickers, teaching resource packs and promotional materials can also be downloaded at www.walk.com.au.
Media contact: Gaven Electorate Office 07 5560 7100