BE ACTIVE: Only one in five school students ride bikes to school, compared with the 70s, when four out of five children did.
BE ACTIVE: Only one in five school students ride bikes to school, compared with the 70s, when four out of five children did. Thinkstock

LETTER: Get 'cotton wool' kids on their bikes

CHIEF executive officer of Bicycle Queensland, Anne Savage, reiterates concerns that only one in five school students ride bikes to school, compared with the 70s, when four out of five did. This does not augur well for their emotional and physical well-being.

It is no surprise that in 40 years, population density pressures in urban areas and road rage both contribute to parents' fear when children are exposed to third millennial living and mobility.

We may want people to show consideration for bike riders, but laws now defining interactions have emphasised that the threat is real and the power of governments and the law are not able to 100 per cent protect our children once they leave home or school on bikes, skateboards and scooters. Helmet wearing is not popular with some generations, which exacerbates the risks.

However, to combat the obesity epidemic rampant in younger people, more activity like bike riding goes a long way to keep children fit.

A sedentary lifestyle and obsession with technology contributes to obesity statistics among parents and children.

Driving this obesity epidemic is the lack of interest in getting out and about alone, for fear of what may happen and how we cannot guarantee or control drivers' temperament.

Children are now more closely monitored than in any generation of past decades.

Wrapping them in cotton wool, with limitations to unsupervised activities, only contribute even further to a loss of innocence and health benefits. Australia is a wide open space, but restrictions upon children's outdoor lives only exacerbate future mental and physical health and independent living issues.

Eloise Rowe

Tannum Sands



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