Boy walking to school

Two Thirds of Kids Are Driven to School by Parents, Survey Reveals

Worry over their children’s safety means most parents are driving their kids to school every day, according to a Heart Foundation report, raising concern about the health of school kids who are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

Over 2000 adults were involved in the survey conducted by the Heart Foundation’s LiveLighter campaign, with the help of Cancer Council Victoria. Three-quarters of adults said that they drove to work, and 64 percent said they drove their kids to school – citing inconvenience, or lack of accessibility as reasons to avoid walking, cycling, or using public transport.

More than half the parents who responded said they thought it was important for kids to walk to school, however, worry about their safety or lack of infrastructure meant they were unlikely to let them.

Governmental guidelines recommend an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day for school-age children. Regular exercise helps children focus in school, makes sure they are properly tired by the end of the day, and helps protect against health problems later in life.

Even if you do drive your kids to school – let’s face it, sometimes cars are the only option – there are ways that you can help incorporate more activity into the day.

  • Park further away from the school and walk with your child until you’re confident they can walk alone. You’ll also avoid the stress of bumper-to-bumper traffic in the drop-off zone!
  • Enrol your children in after-school sports activities or group. They get to exercise and socialise, and when you pick them up you’ll have skipped rush hour!
  • Arrange with your kids to meet them at a spot 10 to 15 minutes walk from their school. Perhaps more convenient for you so they can get some activity and you can avoid sitting in traffic.