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National Walk Safely to School Day

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Friday May 19 is National Walk Safely to School Day, encouraging a healthier future for children and their parents and caregivers.

A community initiative, the day aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits regular walking can provide.

The initiative also put a big emphasis on developing good habits early for the long term well-being of our children, with walking also proving to have a positive effect on cognitive and academic performance.

Celebrating its 18th year, the annual event hopes to encourage primary school children to walk on this day and every day, especially to and from school if possible.

Harold Scruby, CEO of the Pedestrian Council commented on the importance of the event.

“The extremely disturbing childhood obesity epidemic continues to affect 1 in 4 children at critical levels across Australia.

“Unless teachers, parents, carers and the community generally get behind this event and its objectives, it is expected that numbers will reach 1 in 3 by 2020,” he said.

Mr Scruby continued, saying regular walking is the best exercise for everyone, and children require at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

“We should encourage them [children] to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day,” he said.

The national initiative also encourages road safety, by promoting the message “Until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road.”

This Friday, walk to school safely.