ACC Walk Me Home Day next month
24 September 2002
Accident Compensation Corporation to promote injury prevention through ACC Walk Me Home Day next month
ACC is seeking the co-operation of primary schools and their communities to highlight a key theme of next month’s Kidsafe Week—the walk home from school is the most dangerous time for children, in terms of pedestrian injuries and deaths.
The Accident Compensation Corporation’s CEO Garry Wilson says each year more than 300 children are hospitalised after being struck by vehicles on our roads and an average 17 are killed.
He says the “appalling” injury and death toll is why ACC is sponsoring ACC Walk Me Home Day on Friday 18 October, a day when parents and other caregivers will be encouraged to walk instead of driving home with their children.
Mr Wilson says nearly 40 percent of child pedestrians injured are struck down between 3pm and 5pm, usually while on the way home from classes or from after-school sport and recreation activities.
“The idea behind ACC Walk Me Home Day is simple. We’re asking schools to encourage adult caregivers to walk their children home, and organise some activity around this to highlight the event,” he said.
“Parents and other caregivers can have a big influence on the child pedestrian injury and death toll, help their children learn the rules of the road, and at the same time gain the health benefits of walking,” said Mr Wilson.
ACC pays out about $2.1m a year in entitlements for pedestrian injuries to children aged up to 14 years.
More than a third of all primary schools (mainly in urban areas) have signed up so far to take part in ACC Walk Me Home Day activities. Pedestrian safety for primary school pupils will be one of two major themes of this year’s Kidsafe Week, New Zealand’s national child safety week, which runs from 18-25 October, along with water safety for under-five-year-olds. Background information is available at http://www.kidsafe.org.nz/2002/2002.html