I feel that not enough has said regarding this topic even though many media try to cover the subject of air pollution like The Guardian, BBC, VICE, Reuters, Science Focus, The Washington Post, The NY Times, etc do daily.
How important is to walk your kids and not to drive them to school?
Well, it is simple, it is very important for multiple reasons.
- Less Air Pollution
- Get to know your kids better
- Less Stress & More Physical Activity
Less Air Pollution
Just today while I am writing this article a new study came out explaining that children are five times more exposed to toxic air on school run than other times of the day. This is normal if you take into account all the cars that queue up with the engines on and idling while waiting to drop kids off or pick them up.
In simple words, your kid’s health is at high risk!
I used to walk to school every single day, under the sun, under the rain and under the snow and guess what, I didn’t melt. It actually helped me wake up and be ready when classes started. A rainy day is a fun day for a kid and umbrellas have been invented for a long time now.
Get to know your kids better
My school was not far away from my house, 10min approximately, my mother or my aunt accompanied me and my cousin during pre-school and for the first year of primary school. It was great, we had the chance to talk calmly and for them to wish us a good day without worrying about where to park the car or the traffic lights or getting late. Walking distances are always the same as nothing can block your way.
During the walk to school, you have the chance to get to know other parents and your kids’ friends, talk to them and exchange opinions. Kids learn and copy their parents. Imagine being inside a car and you – the parent – are frustrated because you stuck in traffic or because another car bumped your car, most probably you will swear. Do you want your kid to learn that word from you?
During the socialisation that happens between you and the other parents, you have the chance to discuss important school issues and most likely resolve them. Also, you have the chance to invite them for a play day. Trust me your kids will love you.
Less Stress & More Physical Activity
As I have already mentioned, walking is relaxing and apparently good for your health too as it is considered a physical activity. The rest of the day you will be in the office or wherever place you work in and you will have time to sit. Fun fact, on average, we burn about 50 calories for every 10 minutes of walking.
Obviously, there are economic reasons to choose walking or cycling over driving but I am not going to discuss them here as I am trying to focus your attention on how to become a better more sustainable person, not a richer one.
To sum up, avoiding driving your kids to school won’t only reduce air pollution in your neighborhood with a direct benefit to your family’s health but it will help you become a better parent and it will also help you raise a healthier and more socially capable kid.