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Walk Safely to School Day

19 May 2017

Walk safely to school

School children across Maroondah took an important step towards a healthier childhood by participating in Walk Safely to School Day today.

Now in its 18th year, this annual event encourages children to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle by simply including a walk at the beginning and end of each school day. Encouraging active travel to school is proven to assist children to build confidence, independence, and resilience. Learning and practicing road safety equips children with valuable street smart skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

The initiative is seen as a valuable way to engage with parents, carers, teachers and students to highlight the importance of healthy and active lifestyles, road safety by encouraging regular walking habits from an early age.

It is hoped by participating in the day, parents and carers will realise the benefits of walking primary school-aged children all or part of the way to school. Those who can’t walk the whole way are asked to combine a walk with public transport, or to park the car a good distance away from the school and walk the rest of the way.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Nora Lamont said the initiative helps to improve neighbourhood amenity and safety, by reducing school time traffic congestion, increasing pedestrian activation and creating pedestrian-safe areas for children entering and leaving school.

“School drop-off and pick-up times can often be a mad rush, so this is the perfect opportunity for families to slow down, enjoy a nice walk together, and take the time to talk about pedestrian safety around schools,” Cr Lamont said.

It is recommended children get at least 60 minutes of exercise each day to prevent health issues such as childhood obesity. Walking safely to school is a great way to incorporate activity into your day.

“By encouraging regular walking habits from an early age you’re not only helping kids achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, but kids who exercise are also more likely to keep exercising as adults,” Cr Lamont added.

Find out more about Walk Safely to School Day.

Fast fact: Council has 76 school crossings monitored by 94 supervisors who help children and families safely get to and from kindergarten and school.

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