Winter Walk to School Day Success!

McKinley Elementary had a successful Winter Walk to School Day!  Students and their families participated by walking from home or a couple of blocks away from school.  They benefited throughout the day from the fresh air and exercise.  It was a great way to start the day.

Winter walking can be safe and fun!  Continue to celebrate Winter Walking all month long.

Winter weather can be cold and snowy, but there are many ideas that can make walking to school both safe and fun — even in the middle of winter!  Escape cabin fever and enjoy being outdoors by walking to school!

Dressing appropriately for the outdoors is essential.
It is important for children to prepare for the weather and to realize that the proper clothes will make them comfortable.  They should feel the four seasons of Wisconsin not be kept inside all the time and insulated from our weather.  The best way to generate warmth is by layering. Wearing many layers of loose clothing creates pockets of air between layers that insulate the body from the cold.  On really cold days, keep your hands and head covered, and wear a scarf over your face and mouth to protect exposed skin and prevent heat loss.  Wear warm, waterproof boots with traction for icy conditions, as well as a warm coat that deflects wind and water.  Clothing made of wool is especially helpful for retaining heat.  Although warm clothing will help make your walk more comfortable, remember to use extra caution during extreme weather conditions.

Use common sense and be safe.
There may be icy spots along the way that are difficult to see.  Walking too fast could result in slips, trips or falls.  Set a good example for the whole neighborhood by promptly clearing sidewalks, crosswalks, and curb cuts.  Another tip for winter walking is to ensure that you are visible.  Avoid wearing dark colors, particularly in the evening, and carry a flashlight or wear something reflective so that drivers can easily see you.  Battery-powered lights that blink or reflective zipper pulls on backpacks or clothing help ensure maximum visibility when walking.

If biking in winter, make sure your bike is winter-ready.  Check that the tires are inflated, the brakes work properly, and the chain is clean and lubricated.  Bicyclists should ride in the same direction as the motorists, on the right side of the road.  While riding, keep both hands on the handle bars, and  prepare to brake frequently.  Because brakes are less efficient when wet, allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, sleet and snow.  As always, wear a helmet!