Walking benefits people of all ages, but even more so for children. In fact, the government invested £2.1 million this year to encourage more children to walk to school, with an emphasis on improving the health of children aged 5-11. Not only will more walking contribute to the daily amount of exercise children need, it also allows parents to spend more time with their kids, and teach them good walking habits. Moreover, regularly walking with your children can also help build their confidence and even allow them to strengthen their relationships with their friends.
However, some parents may have some concerns when taking their children out on walks, and these are all fair and valid. Here are some tips to help make your next walk with your kids safe and enjoyable:
The first question you might ask yourself is: “Where can I take my children walking outside of the school run?” The best thing about walking is that it’s free and can be done literally anywhere. If you’re just starting to build walking habits with your children, start out somewhere nearby. Take walks to and from the park instead of driving there, or walk them to school if it isn’t too far.
If you’re ready for something a bit more adventurous, the routes on the National Cycle Network are safe and span across the UK! Many of these are completely free from traffic, making them great choices for walking adventures. However, it isn’t just the paths you choose that make a walk safer, but the equipment you bring.
Bring a Walking Bag
Another great thing about taking walks is that it is quite easy to prepare for the activity so your children are safe and comfortable. You can set aside a bag of essentials that you can quickly pick up before heading out on your walk. Your bag should have sunscreen, a first aid kit with plasters, sunglasses, a water bottle, a foldable umbrella, and essentials for your kids such as nappies and wipes, cups, and snacks. If you are going on a longer walk then you can invest in a good daypack like the Osprey Tempest 34, which has a great back support to help you carry all of the items to keep your children safe and happy.
Invest In a Versatile Pushchair
If you have younger children it’s also important that you invest in a good, reliable pushchair that will keep them safe, secure, and covered from rain and falling objects. Today you don’t even have to buy individual pieces in order to physically carry your child on a walk, as the pushchairs on iCandy showcase how a lot of today’s prams double as carrycots, while still being durable and lightweight. This gives you more options on which walks you can take, as you won’t be restricted by where your pushchair can and can’t go. Many modern designs have all terrain wheels, which means that you can safely move them over concrete and softer terrain without any issue.
Wear Reflective Clothing
To ensure your children are seen and safe they should wear reflective clothing. The Highway Code emphasises the importance of reflective clothing in poor daylight conditions and when it is dark to help drivers to see you. The Code suggests investing in reflective armbands, sashes, waistcoats, jackets, or footwear for both parents and children.
For more ideas for engaging activities for kids, check out our post on ‘How to Support Your Child’s Development’.
Article exclusively written for jiggywrigglers.com
By Jennifer Verie