5 Safety Tips Every Child Should Know October 6, 2010

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Austin Safe Routes to School and Safe Kids Austin were joined by FedEx volunteers and local elementary school students and staff today to raise awareness of pedestrian and bike safety on International Walk and Bike to School Day. Child pedestrian injury remains the number two cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 5 to 14 in the US. As one out of every three child pedestrian deaths occurs between 3 and 7 p.m., it is especially important for children to learn pedestrian safety skills that will help make them safer as they walk to and from school.

Volunteers from Fed Ex led a walking parade, teach children and parents safe walking behaviors, and provide important safety tips. Houston is one of the largest elementary schools in Austin, with almost 1,000 students. Community partners joining in the walking parade include the Austin Police Department, the Austin Independent School District Police Department, local citizen volunteers, and the City of Austin's Code Compliance, Parks & Recreation and Animal Services Departments.

Houston Elementary is located in the Dove Springs Community, where walking, cycling and heavy traffic are present on a daily basis. Local non-profit Children's Optimal Health has created special map of the area surrounding Houston Elementary, pinpointing the locations of child cyclist and pedestrian collisions.

According to Tareka Wheeler, Coordinator of Safe Kids Austin, "The maps created by Children's Optimal Health helped us to identify areas of special concern, and we can use that kind of information to increase driver awareness and look for improvements to the walking environment." Combining these tactics with family education on safe walking behaviors, like those taught on International Walk to School Day, can help make a community safer. According to Tareka, "No child should be in danger simply because they are walking to school or around their neighborhood."

"Our employees have worked hand-in-hand with Safe Kids Austin to teach Austin area children how to stay safer when they walk," said Denise Torres, Fed Ex Express Operations Manager. "Safe Kids Austin and its partners do a wonderful job in our community and we look forward to continuing to help them make walking safer for everyone."

"Walking and biking to school are great ways to 'fit fitness' into the day for students and parents," said Kristi Stillwell, Program Coordinator for Austin Safe Routes to School. "Austin is such a great city for walking and biking, so we're trying to bring it 'back in style,' while also making sure that kids and their parents know how to be safe when walking or biking to school. We work with the schools and many different community partners to encourage and educate the kids and their parents on these important messages."

Five Safety Tips

  • Look left, then right, then left again when you cross the street and keep looking both ways until you reach the other side.
  • Cross the street at the corner or at a cross-walk and obey all traffic signals. Walk with an adult until you are at least 10 years old.
  • Be seen by drivers. If you walk when it is dark, wear light-colored clothing or clothing with reflective material so drivers can see you.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Play in safe areas. Play in the backyard or playground, away from streets, driveways and parking lots.

About Safe Kids Austin

Safe Kids Austin works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Its members include health and safety experts, educators, caregivers, state and local agencies, and local corporations. Safe Kids Austin is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Austin was founded in 1993, and is lead by Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.

About Austin Safe Routes to School

Austin Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a TX Department of Transportation funded project within the City of Austin Health & Human Services Department. Austin Safe Routes to School works with 10 Austin schools to increase the number and safety of kids walking and biking to school. Benefits to children and the community include increased physical activity, a reduction in traffic congestion, and reductions in fuel consumption and air pollution.

About FedEx Corporation

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $34 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 275,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities.

About Children's Optimal Health

Children's Optimal Health (COH) is a collective leadership initiative that unites the efforts of Central Texas organizations in promoting community change to help our children reach a brighter future. COH strives to give agencies and communities access to proprietary data by using GIS mapping to illuminate issues involving Central Texas children. By layering data from many sources, COH can help communities visualize the health of their neighborhoods, identify assets and needs, and unearth opportunities for collaborative change.

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