Most kids driven to school

Most Australian children are driven to school, even if they live nearby.

Seven out of 10 children are being driven to school, research shows.

That’s despite more than half of primary students living within 2km of their school.

The research, by The Royal Children’s Hospital, also shows that more than half of school children are driven to school every day as time-poor parents juggle work pressures and family schedules.

Many mums and dads know walking, riding or taking public transport to school is good for their children’s health.However, many won’t let their children travel without an adult due to concerns about strangers, bullies and traffic hazards.

Key findings of the poll of 1745 parents across the country found:
– The majority of children (58%) are driven to or from school by car most days of the week
– 71% of children do not walk or ride to school at all in a typical week
– More than half (52%) of primary school children live less than 2km from school, while a quarter (26%) live less than 1km
– One in five teenagers (21%) never travel to or from school without an adult
– One in five (18%) parents have used a geolocation device to monitor the location of their child, saying tracking their child’s location made them feel more comfortable to let them travel without an adult
– Parents who drove their children to school said it was the quickest form of transport (52%) or the safest (48%).

RCH National Child Health Poll Director Dr Anthea Rhodes said primary-school-aged children needed 60 minutes of physical activity a day and walking or riding to school was a great way to provide it.

“For many children, the trip to school is short, and yet most get there by car,’’ Dr Rhodes said.

“Work and life pressures make it hard for parents to walk or ride with their children to school, but even one day a week of active travel to school is better than nothing at all,’’ she said.