Fifteen percent of children and adolescents six- to 19-years-old are overweight, according to the CDC website. In one generation, the number of kids walking and biking to school has dropped from 71 to 18 percent. Twenty to 25 percent of morning rush hour traffic is attributed to parents driving their children to school.
The Solution: Get kids moving. To maintain a healthy weight, kids must start leading more active lifestyles at an early age. Make regular physical activity part of your child's daily routine. Biking and/or walking to school is a great way to do this. Take part in a Safe Routes to School activity. In the near future MEMS will be starting a weekly "Walking School Bus" League of American bicyclists/www.bikeleague.org.
Students in Kindergarten through fourth grade will be learning Pedestrian Safety Rules in the classroom and in Physical Education class.
Here are some safety tips for parents to practice and reinforce: Stop at the curb, or edge of the road if there is no curb before crossing the street.
Stop and look left, right, and left again for moving cars before stepping into the street - If there is a car, wait until it goes by, then look left, right, and left again until no cars are coming.
If a car is parked where in the crossing area, look to make sure there is no driver and that the car is not running.
Next, go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left to see if cars are coming. When no cars are coming, walk - do not run - across the road. Keep looking left-right-left for cars while crossing.
Motorists: Please be aware of children walking and riding bikes to school.
Drive slowly through school zones.
The public is encouraged to participate in "Vermont Walk to School Day" on May 1.
For more information, contact Carol Baringer, MEMS School Nurse at 362-1597, extension 1127.