Keeping children safe when out traveling is a fundamental
Keeping children safe when out traveling is a fundamental aim of The Children’s Traffic Club, but we also believe that there are many beneficial opportunities for children to keep fit and have fun whilst they are out and about. In this blog, we will look at how children can do this safely and how parents and carers can use our resources to enjoy the outside environment whilst reducing the risk of injuries.
Fit and fun
UK Government health statistics in 2019  show that 1 in 5 children starting school are overweight or obese and only 10% of our children under 5 meet the national guidelines for physical activity each week. It is recommended that children under 5 do 180 minutes of physical activity every day. Many factors can affect obesity but adopting an active lifestyle as a child can significantly reduce health risks later in life. Parents can encourage healthy routines for food, sleep and exercise early in a child’s life, this can set them up for optimum health as they grow older.
Getting to and from nursery/school, the shops or the park offers several opportunities for young children to enjoy the outdoors and increase their physical activity. Walking, cycling and scootering are key forms of active travel and we should all be considering alternative modes of travel – after all, it’s better for the environment and helps everyone stay fit and healthy.
How you can help
- Discuss active travel options with your child and explain that walking, cycling or scootering are all fun ways to get to and from nursery/school and help us keep fit.
- Teach your children how to ride a bike and/or a scooter. Explain why it is vital to always wear the correct protective safety clothing, especially a helmet and where possible use safer routes such as cycle paths if available.
- The Children’s Traffic Club resources include activities which encourage children to be more active such as a activity sheet where they can log how they travel to and from nursery and a matching activity worksheet using the balloon characters Willow Walk, Michael Cycle, Skyler Scooter and Hara Helmet to help bring the ideas to life and make learning engaging.
- If you are an early years’ practitioner, use our active travel map to help children identify the different ways we travel and those that will help us stay fitter.
- Help children to understand the connection between travel choices and the impact on the environment by exploring the causes of pollution and the greener travel options that are now being available such as electric cars and buses.
In our next blog, we will look at the importance to road safety of being seen whilst using the roads and pavements.
 NHS Digital. (2019). Part 4: Childhood overweight and obesity – NHS Digital. [online] Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet-england-2019/part-4-childhood-obesity [Accessed 20 Aug. 2019].