New 'walking to school' e-module launched

Ahead of International Walk to School Month in October, Parentline Plus has launched a new online i-parent module aimed at supporting parents who want their children to walk to school, yet are concerned about the risks.

Working in conjunction with national charity Living Streets, the module, titled ‘Walking to school?’ will identify the health benefits of walking to school, explore why many children don’t walk and address parental concerns around child safety. The module also aims to equip parents with practical ways to introduce walking into the school routine and how to give children the necessary skills to make the school journey safer.

Jeremy Todd, Parentline Plus Chief Executive said:

“Years ago, most primary school children walked to school. Today, more children are going by car and that is causing problems – for the environment, for our children’s health, and for their development. Many parents fear letting their children walk to school at any age - yet the benefits of regular walking are immense. Our new i-parent module will help families understand why walking is so important in developing a child’s independence, how to improve their safety when they walk and help you overcome some of the obstacles to walking.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said:

“With Walk to School Month fast approaching, we believe this resource is a brilliant way to encourage parents and children to walk to school.

“Walking the journey to school is a brilliant way to get some physical activity and some fresh air into your day. When children are bundled from front door to car door, they miss out on the opportunity to socialise with friends, get to know their community, and burn off some energy before getting their heads down in the books. We understand that parents have fears, but hope that this tool will help encourage parents and children to get walking this autumn.”

A recent survey carried out by Parentline Plus and Living Streets in May 2010 found that parents disproportionately fear their children being abducted or killed in a road accident over the more likely threat to their health from childhood obesity.

Although there is about a one in a million[1] chance of a child being killed by a stranger, the risk of severe health issues and early mortality as a result of the lack of physical activity is one in three[2].

Parents with questions or concerns about walking with, or allowing their primary school children to walk to school or the health implications, can call the free Parentline Plus 24 hour helpline, Parentline, on 0808 800 2222, or contact us by Email or Live Chat.