Children need at least one hour of physical activity every day for good health. Is your child getting this?
According to studies, only 29% of children are currently active enough for good health. Forty years ago, 75% of children walked or rode their bikes to school; today this has dropped to just 30%.
With most children living within 2 kilometres of their school gate, walking or bike riding is an easy way for children to increase their activity levels and achieve better health.
Step 1 - The Bike
In order to ride to school, children must first have a bike.
If they don’t, here is a handy guide on which one to buy.
If they do, be sure to teach them how to perform a quick safety check before every ride.
A - Air
B - Brakes
C - Chain
You can find more details here.
Step 2 - Back to Basics
If your child cannot ride a bike, we have tips here to get get them started.
We encourage you to help them practice riding around the local park, as well as along the route to school. When you ride point out potential hazards they could come across, and challenge them to find some too.
Younger children tend to focus on pedalling and steering, not on the environment around them. This includes hazards, speed, distance and direction of sound.
Step 3 - Safety and Laws
Children under the age of 16 along with a supervision adult can legally ride on a footpath in NSW. However, they must dismount to cross child and/or pedestrian crossings, along with traffic lights.
Bicycle NSW has a handy guide to talk through safety, laws and hazards with children.
This includes what clothes to wear, hazards to watch out for and where to ride.
Step 4 - Riding To School
If you haven’t noticed other children riding to school, or seen bike racks, we recommend checking in with the school where your child can keep their bike during the day. A secure and undercover bike rack is ideal, but we understand that not all schools have this option.
If your child has never ridden to school before, we recommend doing this on a non school day so you aren’t rushed for time. Judge how long it will take, point out potential hazards and any other tips or tricks along the route.
Remember, the ride does not have to be long. Even a few blocks to school can play a big role in reaching a child’s daily physical activity requirements.