Walking to school can be a great experience for you and your kids, and it offers numerous benefits such as starting the day outside with physical activity and spending valuable time together. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you and your children plan to walk to and from school.
Walking Tips for Students:
- Always cross the street at a corner or at a crosswalk and obey traffic signals; cross with a crossing guard if there is one.
- Walk on a sidewalk.
- Look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street. Continue looking while you cross.
- Do not cross where a driver cannot see you. Always make eye contact with drivers before you cross.
- Walk — don’t run — across the street.
- Don’t walk while using earbuds, texting, or doing anything else that may prevent you from hearing traffic or distract your attention.
- Pay close attention to your surroundings.
- Walk with a buddy.
- Avoid using secluded shortcuts.
- If a car stops to talk to you, never approach the vehicle.
- Never take rides from strangers, or even people you know, without permission from your parents.
Walk Tips for Parents:
- Children will model the behavior of adults, so be mindful of pedestrian rules to set a good example and keep kids safe.
- Practice the walking route together a few times before the first day of school. Choose the safest route to school with the least amount of crossings.
- Teach your child how to cross the street.
- Ensure your child has identification and emergency numbers in their backpacks.
- Practice what each street sign means on the route to school.
- Observe what it is like to cross at the eye level of your child.
- Walk where there is good visibility for your child to see traffic and to be sure the drivers can see your child.
- Don’t let your child walk alone until you feel they are ready.
- Discuss what to do if approached by a vehicle or stranger.
- Discuss not taking rides from anyone without permission from you prior, even if it is their friend.