Don’t drive your kids everywhere

Children need to connect with their neighborhoods and communities and that doesn’t happen when they are driven everywhere.

I think we all can relate to this. If you’re a passenger you just don’t pay attention as much to where you’re going and may not be able to drive it yourself if you had to.

But an article in The Atlantic Cities cites a study that also found that kids who are in and around cars all the time are negatively affected. In neighborhoods where there is heavy traffic exposure the children “expressed feelings of dislike and danger and were unable to represent any detail of the surrounding environment.”

“Participants from the Light [traffic exposure] neighborhood, on the other hand, showed a much richer sense of their environment, drawing more of the streets, houses, trees, and other objects, and including fewer signs of danger, or dislike and fewer cars. The children also drew many more places in the street where they liked to play and areas that they just simply liked.”

Did you know that only 18% of children currently walk or bike to school? 71% of their parents did.

The study also showed that where there were improvements to pedestrian and bike infrastructure, children became happier with their environment.

Tomorrow I’ll post an article about the Walking School Bus.



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