Parents are being encouraged to take up the fight against childhood obesity and take a walk - or a part walk - with their children to school tomorrow as part of Walk Safely to School Day.

School students are encouraged to get off the bus - or out of the car - a little earlier than usual and enjoy the benefits of a walk to school with an adult.

Active kids are healthy kids and children should be getting a minimum of one hour of exercise each day.

Walking to school also helps develop vital road-crossing skills and awareness. Walking, even to and from a bus stop, will help reduce car dependency on our roads and reduce traffic congestion around schools, helps to make them even safer places for children.

Children aged 10 and under should hold an adult’s hand when crossing a road.

Background

Schools can actively participate by downloading materials such as stickers, certificates and school assembly kits from www.walk.com.au.

Quotes attributable to Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close

Research shows Australian children are becoming less active and walking is a great exercise because it can be built into a child’s daily routine and even expanded over time.

Children who are regularly physically active are healthier, perform better academically and are less likely to be obese or overweight – helping them avoid long-term health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

Young primary students should hold hands with a grown up, recognise the safest place to cross the road and use the ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Think’ checklist every time they cross a road.