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Driving kids to school blamed for rise in child obesity

The National Association of Head Teachers’ president has called for parents to stop driving pupils to school and allow them to walk.

It is hoped that this will help children to get more exercise and to develop responsibility.

Gail Larkin blamed the rising culture to drive kids to school on fears over their safety and the increased workloads of parents. According to Larkin, this trend was damaging the health of children, as they were missing out on exercise during the week. She added that children were at an increased risk of danger, as driving them to school means they will never learn how to stay safe.

During the last 20 years, the number of kids being driven to school doubled, with pupils spending an average of eight minutes in a car before school. Larkin considers a child of nine years old onwards to be able to walk to school alone “if they live near enough”. She added:

“Children know how to keep themselves safe and they are better at disclosing what’s happened to them than when we were kids. The only way that children are less safe is in relation to traffic and that will only be solved by getting cars off the road.”

In some areas of the country, 25% more children are obese or overweight at the age of ten or eleven years old, in comparison to eight years previously. A combined effort is required to help reduce child obesity levels, including healthy tuckshop food. Teesside schools are among those encouraging children to eat nutritious alternatives.

Posted by Mark
January 23, 2015

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