Nationwide, Safe Kids USA and participating schools will hold more than 1,000 International Walk to School Day activities as part of the Safe Kids Walk This Way pedestrian safety program. For the 13th year, Safe Kids coalitions are teaming up with hundreds of FedEx volunteers to teach children how to be safer pedestrians as they walk to and from school and raise awareness around specific pedestrian dangers or issues in their community.
Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Safe & Sound program, Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga, FedEx and community leaders from Outdoor Chattanooga, UTC and the Hamilton County Health Department will walk with children at Battle Academy, Brown Academy and Orchard Knob to advocate for safer walking environments for children on Wednesday, beginning at 9 a.
m. for International Walk to School Day.
“In today’s world, the reality is children are not walking to school,” said Marisa Moyers, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger pediatric trauma outreach coordinator. “We want to encourage them by explaining walking to school is an excellent way to get out and move. This initiative not only promotes physical fitness but it also demonstrates the correct ways to walk along safe pedestrian routes, explains the importance of not walking alone, raises awareness of their surroundings and includes skills to become more visible to motorists.”
In the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages three to 14. While the number of child pedestrians injured in traffic crashes is decreasing in the United States, there are still a staggering number of children hit by cars. More than 61 children are severely injured every day and more than 500 children are killed every year.
Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. Safe & Sound, an injury prevention service of Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga Area, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages one to 14.
Members of Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga include Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Hamilton County Health Department, Catoosa County Health Department, Chattanooga Police Department, Volkswagen, Siskin Children’s Institute, NA Credit Services, Chattanooga Head Start, Brain Injury Association, Main Street Bike Co-Op and FedEx Express. Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga is a member of Safe Kids USA, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. For more information, visit www.safekids.org.