Is parental fear a barrier to children walking & cycling to school?

Trevor Buckenara
Your Move Schools Team

Here's an interesting article about cool article about encouraging children’s independent travel. Research shows that children who are able to play and travel without an adult and those who walk or cycle to school are more likely to meet Australian physical activity guidelines, according to findings from research that investigated the role that parental fear plays in shaping children’s independence and physical activity, the first of its kind in Australia.

The three-year study (2012 to 2015) was initiated and funded by VicHealth and commissioned to La Trobe University and the Parenting Research Centre addressed a gap in evidence, if parental fear is a barrier to children’s independence and getting enough physical activity. Just one in five Australian children is physically active for the recommended one hour each day. It included a survey of more than 2000 parents of children aged nine to 15 from across Victoria.

A practical guide to help parents to support children to safely travel and play outside independently as they grow is also available to download. How to help your kids get around safely on their own offers tips to parents on how to help your child travel safely from dependence to independence.

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An interesting read, Trevor. This parental perception is doing a disservice to many children. If you are not allowed to fall over (oops! maybe I shouldn't be running there!) you don't learn to pick yourself up & dust yourself off. Parents who are fearful also need to learn to TRUST that their children will make the right choice. Most times they do! When they don't, use the situation to work (together) on finding the better (right!) choice.

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