More than 250,000 children across the U.S. participated in the annual event to learn about walking safely and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments.
“On International Walk to School Day, parents and caregivers both teach and model safe pedestrian behavior,” said Traci Napier Reece, Safe Kids Walker County coordinator. “It is one thing to tell students about pedestrian safety, but by walking with them on International Walk to School Day, we can show them proper behaviors and give them the tools to be safer pedestrians.
This fall, Safe Kids released a report titled “Walking Safely, A Report to the Nation,” a 15-year trend report which examined child pedestrian injuries and deaths in the U.S. The report revealed that while walking safety has improved overall for children since 1995, there are still a staggering number of children hit by cars. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages three to 14. More than 61 children are injured every day severely enough to seek medical attention, and more than 500 children are killed every year.
“International Walk to School Day is a great opportunity for students to learn how to remain injury-free as they walk to and from school,” Reece said. “No child should be put in danger simply because they are walking to school or around their neighborhood.”
In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the U.S. to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. This year will mark the 13th anniversary of the program. Safe Kids coalitions across the country will work with more than 1,000 elementary schools to hold events for children on how to walk safely and recognize pedestrian dangers.
“Safety is one of our company’s core values, and we have been dedicated to improving child pedestrian safety through the Safe Kids Walk This Way program for over a decade,” said Rose Flenorl, manager of FedEx Global Citizenship. “Our team members worked hand-in-hand with Safe Kids Walker County to teach Chickamauga Elementary students how to stay safer when they walk. Safe Kids Walker County does a wonderful job in our community, and we look forward to supporting them as they make walking safer for everyone.”
Safe Kids Walker County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages one to 14. Partners include Rock City, Mike Herndon State Farm, Walker County Health Department, Rossville Fire Department, Georgia State Patrol, GSP Motor Carrier Compliance Division, LaFayette Woman’s Club, Chickamauga Woman’s Club, Heather Napier AllState Down Home Agency and Walker County Sheriff’s Department. Safe Kids Walker County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Walker County was founded in 2009 and is led by Walker County Emergency Services. For more information, visit safekids.org.