Earlier this year we talked to you about walk to school week and the benefits that walking to school has on both your and your children's physical and mental wellbeing, as well as on carbon emissions and the environment.
October is Walk to School Month so there’s even more opportunities to get your walking boots on and get some fresh air on the way to school.
Living Streets, the charity running the initiative, is inviting children and parents to take part in their #WalkForTheWorld social media challenge. They’re asking participants to consider the contribution that traffic pollution makes to climate change and the effects it has on wildlife and natural habitats around the world.
Walking to school reduces carbon emissions, and supports natural habitats and animals across the globe.
They’re running a competition to win £100 in vouchers. Full details, including terms and conditions, can be found here.
All you need to do to enter is the following:
- Choose an animal or natural habitat endangered due to climate change and walk, wheel, scoot, cycle or Park & Stride to school this October to protect it
- Share with them on social media (Twitter or Instagram) which animal/habitat you have chosen to protect and why
- Make sure you use the #WalkForTheWorld hashtag and tag @LivingStreets
While you’re taking part in Walk to School Month and at any time of the year, it’s important to keep children visible. Little children are often too small to be seen by cars and it’s now getting darker in the mornings so there are a few things you can do to keep your brood safe:
- Invest in high-vis gear – you can get high-vis tabards for children but also reflective strips for bike helmets and shoes can help keep them visible at dawn or dusk. Even wearing brightly coloured clothing can help, including coats, hats and gloves
- Hold on to an adult – it might sound obvious but little children can run into the road so easily if they’re distracted. By holding on to a parent or guardian’s hand, you can be sure they stay safe
- Take your time – it’s really easy if you’re in a rush to get back home or to work to take a short cut across the road instead of using a crossing. Children learn from their parents so show them it’s better to be safe than to rush
- Teach them how to spot risks – raising awareness in a fun way will help children learn about road safety and teach them to be alert. Ask them to spot different kinds of vehicles, such as cars, bikes and lorries, and weave in some safety facts such as a lorry driver might not see them because they’re high up, or a motorbike not be able to stop very quickly
Keeping warm and dry
When walking to school in October it can start to get chilly and the weather can be unpredictable! Make sure your children have plenty of layers such as vests and tights. We stock quality leather shoes to keep your children dry, but on extremely wet days you might want to let them wear a pair of wellies to school and carry their shoes in their rucksack.
An umbrella is a great accessory for rainy days, and you can get loads of brightly coloured and patterned ones to help keep children visible, but if it’s really windy it’s worth investing in a warm coat with a hood. A woolly hat, scarf and gloves will also make sure your children arrive at school nice and toasty.
If you’ve not taken part in walking to school before, it’s never too late to start – even if you just do one day a week it can make a big difference. Living Streets has this handy guide for parents to help get involved, explaining the benefits and offering solutions around busy lives.