PRESS RELEASE: Walk to School Week 2017
Walk to School Week this year is from 15th to 19th May – if you are a parent, why not give it a try? According to the charity Living Streets “walking to school makes children feel healthier and happier, while reducing congestion and pollution outside the school gates”, and the Living Streets website provides ideas and resources for families and schools that will help make the walk to school fun.
But fun or not, you may be persuaded to take to your feet by the knowledge that sitting inside a car can be more dangerous for your children’s health than walking or cycling or scooting to school, say local campaign group Kingston Environment Forum (KEF). Air pollution inside cars is worse than that on roads or pavements because the air intakes of cars are so close to exhaust-pipe level, and community monitors in nearby Kew found that school drop-off zones were 3 times more polluted than other roadsides. Children suffer the worst effects from air pollution because their lungs are still developing and may never fully develop if regularly exposed to pollution.
Roadsides may not be the healthiest places to walk, but KEF recommends that parents or carers choose quieter roads and walk on the inside of pavements, as far from the road as possible, to reduce the risks to children - and it will still be healthier than taking the car. “And if you manage to walk to school for a week, maybe you could manage it for longer?” says Marilyn Mason, co-chair of KEF.
- There’s information about Kingston Environment Forum (KEF) at www.kef.org.uk, and a lot more information and supporting data about air pollution and local air pollution issues on the KEF website at http://e-voice.org.uk/kef/kef-issues/air-quality/ .
- You can find out more about Walk to School Week 2017 at https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-we-do/projects/walk-to-school-week