Nurses in safety call over walk to school

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

DUR­ING In­ter­na­tional Walk to School Month, school nurses from Lan­cashire Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust are urg­ing par­ents and teach­ers in West Lan­cashire to make road safety a top pri­or­ity.

To en­cour­age fam­i­lies to tackle in­ac­tiv­ity among chil­dren by walk­ing to school, Oc­to­ber has been des­ig­nated as In­ter­na­tional Walk to School Month.

The re­sults of an an­nual National Travel Sur­vey re­leased last year showed that the num­ber of chil­dren walk­ing to school in the UK had reached an all-time low.

While 70% of chil­dren walked to school a gen­er­a­tion ago, that fig­ure to­day is just 48%.

Ch­eryl For­rest, ser­vice man­ager at Lan­cashire Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, who over­sees school nurses, said: “There are on av­er­age six chil­dren un­der the age of five who are killed or se­ri­ously in­jured on the roads ev­ery week.

“With In­ter­na­tional Walk to School Month be­ing marked this month, it is, there­fore, cru­cial chil­dren are made aware of road safety, cy­cle safety and how to han­dle traf­fic at a young age.

“As the days get shorter and darker, the roads can be­come more and more haz­ardous and it is all the more im­por­tant to be care­ful.

“Our school nurses are al­ready pro­mot­ing top tips about walk­ing that en­cour­age chil­dren to be care­ful when walk­ing or cy­cling alone, with friends or with par­ents.”

The largest num­bers of child in­juries oc­cur be­tween 8am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm.

Dur­ing these times, there are around 16 deaths or se­ri­ous in­juries to chil­dren un­der 16 ev­ery week.

In 2014 alone, 187 chil­dren aged 0- were killed or se­ri­ously in­jured while on foot in the UK, while some 85 cy­clists aged 8-11 were killed or se­ri­ously in­jured.

The trust has some top tips to keep fam­i­lies safe when walk­ing to and from school and other jour­neys:

Make hold­ing hands your num­ber one rule for when walk­ing to­gether.

Teach your child the Green Cross Code – Stop Look and Lis­ten.

Wear some­thing re­flec­tive or brightly coloured when walk­ing in the dark.

If you are us­ing a buggy/push chair on a hilly street, strap your wrist to the buggy han­dle then, if you slip and let go, the buggy won’t roll away.

Ask your school or lo­cal author­ity about cy­cle train­ing in your area. Your child should not cy­cle on roads un­til they have been trained.

Check your child’s bike to see if it is road­wor­thy: look at brakes, tyres and lights/re­flec­tors (when rid­ing at dusk or at night, you must have white front lights and red back lights and re­flec­tors).

Make sure the bike is the right size for your child.

Make sure your child wears a hel­met which fits and is worn cor­rectly – it should not be pushed too far back on the head;

En­sure that your child al­ways wears some high­vis­i­bil­ity cloth­ing when cy­cling.

School nurses from Lan­cashire Care – ready to en­cour­age more pupils to make road safety a top pri­or­ity dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Walk to School Month

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