Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Hundreds of Children Join Safe Kids Coalitions Across Kansas on International Walk to School Day

The Safe Kids Walk This Way program reaches a 10-year milestone, thanks to support from FedEx

Topeka, Kan. -- Fifty-seven schools across Kansas, along with several local Safe Kids coalitions and FedEx volunteers, will hold events for local school children on Wednesday, October 7, to raise awareness of pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. Child pedestrian injury remains the number two cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 5 to 14 in the U.S. 

This year, Safe Kids coalitions and schools will teach children about safe pedestrian behaviors, as well as how to identify pedestrian hazards, as they walk to and from school. As one out of every three child pedestrian deaths occurs between 3 and 7 p.m., it is especially important for children to learn pedestrian safety tips that will help make them safer as they walk home from school in the afternoon.

“International Walk to School Day is an opportunity for students to learn safe pedestrian behaviors that will help keep them alive and injury-free as they walk to and from school,” said Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “It is one thing to tell students about pedestrian safety, but by walking with them on International Walk to School Day, we can show them proper behaviors and give them the tools to be safer pedestrians. No child should be put in danger simply because they are walking to school or around their neighborhood.”

In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities.  Over the past 10 years, the program has expanded to include Brazil, Canada, China, India, South Korea and the Philippines.  In 2009, the program will be launched in Thailand and Vietnam.

Program sponsor FedEx provided a special grant to fund the improvements in honor of the Safe Kids Walk This Way program’s 10-year anniversary.  The 16 coalitions across the United States and six international member countries participating in the project received grants totaling close to $100,000.

For a list of schools registered to participate in Walk to School Day, go to www.walktoschool.org, and click on “Who’s Walking”.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 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, Osage, Pottawatomie, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area (including Butler, Harvey, Sumner and Sedgwick counties) and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.)  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.

Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org.