Safe Kids Minnesota, FedEx Promote Pedestrian Safety on International Walk to School Day
White Bear Lake School Joins 750 Nationwide to Raise Awareness

ST. PAUL, MN - Safe Kids Minnesota, and FedEx volunteers joined children from Otter Lake Elementary School in White Bear Lake on Wednesday, October 8, to raise awareness about pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. The school"s 44 safety patrol members were recognized at a ceremony during which Otter Lake Elementary received a $500 Safe Kids grant to improve the walking environment around the school. Safe Kids and FedEx also provided interactive pedestrian safety lessons to kindergartners and first graders. The event was part of the national Safe Kids Walk This Way Program, created in 2000 by Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx.

"International Walk to School Day is a great opportunity to remind kids how to stay safe around traffic, and to thank school patrol members for the great job they do," said Erin Petersen, Coordinator of Safe Kids Minnesota. "We applaud Otter Lake Elementary for its commitment to keeping its students safe."

Pedestrian injuries involving motor vehicles are a leading cause of death among Minnesota"s children and teens, accounting for nearly 11 deaths each year on average for the past ten years, Petersen said.

Otter Lake Elementary was among 750 schools across the United States that participated in the annual event, which supports safe walking skills and the creation of safe walking environments.

Safe Kids offers the following pedestrian safety tips for kids:
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
  • It"s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Be especially careful in parking lots or when crossing driveways.
  • If you"re using a cell phone, head phones or a game, remember: Devices down when you cross the street.
Tips for parents:
  • Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking: walk on sidewalks or paths; cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks; put down their devices; make eye contact with drivers; and look left, right and left again when crossing the street. Set a good example by following these recommendations yourself.
  • Be aware that while every child develops differently, it can be hard for kids under age 10 to judge speed and distance of approaching cars.
  • When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
About Safe Kids Minnesota
Safe Kids Minnesota works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death for children and teens. It is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Minnesota was founded in 1988 and is led by the Minnesota Safety Council. For more information, visit www.safekids.org. or www.minnesotasafetycouncil.or/safekids.

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