Of all groups in the community, our reliance on cars as our main form of transport has perhaps had the greatest impact on our children – which is reflected in the rising rates of childhood obesity and respiratory illness.
Some of the greatest benefits from walking flow to children, because it keeps them active and reduces the pollution they breathe, and also because it helps them feel connected with and aware of the community in which they live.
Yet, nearly 80 per cent of children who live within 2km of school are driven both ways, every day. Did you know that you are exposed to more toxins sitting in a car than when walking in the street – even in peak hour?
Walking can also greatly reduce traffic – especially outside schools at pick-up and drop-off times, which has clear benefits for child safety.
As parents, grandparents or older relatives, you are an important role model to young children. Here are some simple things that can make walking with your family – and especially young children – easier and more enjoyable for everyone: