West Dubbo Primary School students participated in National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday.
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of walking with a focus on doing it safely.
The annual event, now in its 19th year, encourages primary school aged children to build walking into their daily routine, by walking to and from school.
Dubbo police Senior Constable Ian Hobden said it is important to let children know how to walk safely to and from school.
“We see often that children are left to their own devices to walk to school and that can create safety issues, especially with younger kids,” he said.
“We want to ensure that kids can get themselves to and from school in the safest manner possible by speaking to them and their parents about following the road rules.”
Pedestrian Council of Australia CEO Harold Scruby said the best exercise for all of us is regular walking.
“Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity,” he said.
“We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day.
“It’s important to note that until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road.
“Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for so many chronic diseases that can affect our kids at different stages of their life, including mental illness, cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
“One in four children in Australia are overweight or obese, and it is expected that numbers will reach one in three by 2020. We really need teachers, parents, carers and the community at large to get behind this event and its objectives.”
West Dubbo Primary School student Sovanah Doherty said it was crucial students learn how to walk to school safely.
“This is an important initiative,” she said.
“Walking is good exercise for parents and kids.
“We should know the road rules and how to walk safely to and from school.”