Preventing Accidental Injury.
Contact: Jan Stegelman, 785-296-1223, or
Schools and community groups all across Kansas are organizing activities for Walk to School Month and International Walk to School Day on October 3, 2007. Walk to School Day was originally established by the Partnership for a Walkable America to encourage parents to teach children about pedestrian safety and become more aware of difficulties and dangers children face on their trip each day.
The benefits of walking to school extend beyond increasing physical activity, such as decreasing congestion around schools, increasing an emphasis on pedestrian safety in the community, decreasing emissions around schools and even improving student behavior and performance within the classroom. While encouraging walking to school, Safe Kids reminds kids and parents not to forget safety.
“Children need to learn how to walk to school safely, and parents need to teach and review important safety guidelines each year with their children. What better way to do this than to walk your child to school,” said Jan Stegelman of Safe Kids Kansas. “By walking children to school, you can determine how safe their route is for walking and where improvements can be made.”
Unfortunately, pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14 in the United States. A national survey of driver speeds found that two-thirds of drivers exceeded the posted speed limit during the before- and after-school hours.
As part of this special event, children and parents receive tips on how to choose a safe walking route, pedestrian safety tips, and a Walkability Checklist that allows parents to determine their child’s safest route to school. Participating children also receive reflective zipper pulls courtesy of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).
To find out if your local school is participating, visit www.walktoschool.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit www.safekidskansas.org.