The Telegraph - Saturday 7 May 2011
POUNDING the pavement with your children can be a life saver on two levels.
Experts say walking children to school teaches children crucial pedestrian safety lessons while also encouraging healthy lifestyles as they're growing up.
It's a message being highlighted by National Walk Safely To School Day, on Friday, May 20, in which tens of thousands of youngsters are expected to participate.The event, now in its 12th year, has become increasingly important, with health department figures showing that almost a quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese, even among the youngest age groups - between ages two and six.
Increasing access to technology has led many primary-aged students to skip the minimum of 60 minutes exercise a day in favour of being a couch potato.
Walk Safely To School Day organisers are encouraging parents to use the day to reinforce messages about safe pedestrian behaviour as well.
They say that ensuring that children under 10 hold adults' hands when crossing the road and learn the vital road-crossing skills will potentially save their lives as they get older.
As well as health benefits, the event also promotes the use of public transport and reduced dependency on vehicles, which increase levels of air pollution around schools.
© The Telegraph