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Walking and biking to school safely

Dr. Christopher Sulowski, Chief of the pediatric emergency department at McMaster Children’s Hospital

If you’re able, walking or biking to school has many health benefits. With September coming up and kids heading back to school, here are some tips for walking and biking to school safely.

Follow these tips

  • Plan and practice your child’s travel route with them ahead of time.
  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet and closed-toe shoes when biking.
  • Put away electronic devices and headphones.
  • Read and obey traffic signs.
  • Stop and look before crossing an intersection.
  • Only cross roads and railway tracks at designated crossings.
  • Ensure your child is visible by wearing bright colours or reflective gear.
  • Avoid shortcuts around parked cars.

Hit the road!

Research shows that regular exercise doesn’t just build muscle strength and endurance, it also builds resilience – an important skill to foster in children.

Participation in regular physical activity has been shown to improve overall health, and specifically, immune function and cardiometabolic, musculoskeletal, digestive, and mental health. Meeting the current physical activity guidelines has been shown to increase sleep quality, decrease stress, anxiety and pain, improve energy, and improve focus.

See the 24-hour movement guidelines.