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pbic currents


Issue 8 (3-22-02)
Young Cyclists and Pedestrians —
Resources for Promoting Fitness, Health and Safety


bicycle and pedestrian safety for children
resources for health and fitness education
resources from outside the united states
new journal articles and books

Bonus! Go here to link to searchable databases for access to transportation literature, with tips on searching for pedestrian and bicycle information.





Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety for Children:


National Strategies for Advancing Child Pedestrian Safety. R. A. Schieber and M. E. Vegega, editors. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2001.

Child pedestrian safety is one of the most complex societal problems faced in injury prevention today. At an interdisciplinary conference held in September 1998 and sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, epidemiologists, educators, engineers, sociologists, psychologists, and research specialists identified key barriers and developed critical next steps for reducing pedestrian injuries among children. This document presents the strategies developed at the conference. To request a free print copy, call 770-488-1506, or order online from this web page: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pedestrian/default.htm#Read
A full text .pdf file can be downloaded from: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pedestrian/newpedbk.pdf

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The Walkability Checklist, http://www.walkinginfo.org/walkingchecklist.htm - How walkable is your community? This useful tool can help you find the answer. Take a walk and use this checklist to decide if your neighborhood is a friendly place to walk. Take heart if you find problems, there are ways you can make things better.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Kidd Safety web site, http://www.cpsc.gov/kids/kidsafety/index.html, is just for children. Strong on bicycle safety information, it features educational activities for kids, including games, posters, quizzes, and much more.

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KidsWalk-to-School http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk/index.htm is a program of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This is a community-based program created to increase opportunities for daily physical activity by encouraging
children to walk to and from school in groups accompanied by adults. The program advocates for communities through building partnerships with schools, PTA's, local police department, departments of public works, civic associations, local politicians, and businesses to create an environment that is supportive of walking and bicycling to school safely. Goals and anticipated benefits of KidsWalk-to-School include improving pedestrian safety, creating healthy and walkable community environments, mobilizing communities to work together to create safe routes to school and improved neighborhood safety, increasing daily physical activity for children and adults, choice to walk and bike for other short distance trips, and friendlier neighborhoods as people get out and about and interact.

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The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center features links to resources on traffic safety education for children at: http://www.walkinginfo.org/ee/children.htm

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Resources for Health and Fitness Education:


HealthFinder, http://www.healthfinder.gov/ — A searchable gateway to reliable consumer health information from the Federal Government. Here, you can search for tips for people of all ages on walking and bicycling for fitness.

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School Health Program Guidelines, http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/guidelines/physact.htm — From the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These guidelines identify strategies most likely to be effective in helping young people adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle. The guidelines were developed by CDC staff in collaboration with experts from other federal agencies, state agencies, universities, voluntary organizations, and professional associations.

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Teachnet, http://www.teachnet.com/ — Under the Health/Physical Education/Fitness section, teachers can find lesson plans for students to increase their fitness by walking. Suggestions for getting parents to walk with their children are offered.

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Resources from Outside the United States:

School Travel Web Site, a joint effort of the United Kingdom Departments for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Education and Skills, and Health, http://www.local-transport.dtlr.gov.uk/schooltravel/index.htm. Many resources are available at this web site for school administrators and parents. One example is the electronic resource, School Travel Strategies and Plans A Best Practice Guide for Local Authorities. Content includes: Developing a school travel strategy; Developing a school travel plan; Surveys, monitoring and evaluation; Practical measures; Walking initiatives; Cycling initiatives; Road safety training and classroom work; Public transport initiatives; Highway engineering measures; School management; Involving parents; The travel plan document; Relocation, expansion and new schools; Resources; Case studies; Bibliography and Contacts.

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Queensland Transport Safe School Travel http://www.roadsafety.net/SAFESCHOOL/safeschool.html At this web site, you will find information on the Queensland Safer Routes to School program, which focuses on a community behavioral approach to improving childrens' safety on their way to and from school.

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New Journal Articles and Books:

"Measuring Community Bicycle Helmet Use Among Children." R.A. Schieber and J.J. Sacks. Public Health Reports. Vol. 116, March-April 2001, pp. 113-121. http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/whatsnew/Measuring%20bike%20helmet%20use.pdf

The authors of this study describe what they learned through conducting studies to monitor community bicycle helmet use by children, and they share strategies and methods that they found useful in conducting bicycle helmet use studies. They suggest that these lessons may be used in other studies that evaluate injury prevention and public health programs.

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"Patterns of Physical Activity among American Indian Children: An Assessment of Barriers and Support." J.L. Thompson, S. M. Davis, J.Gittelsohn, et al. Journal of Community Health: The Publication for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Dec. 2001. Vol 26(6): pp. 407-421.

School-aged children from several American Indian tribal groups participated in the development and testing of a school-based obesity prevention program. Data were collected from nearly five hundred children in nine schools, through direct observation, interviews, questionnaires and surveys. School staff members and parents were interviewed and participated in focus groups. The children showed high enjoyment of physical activity, and strong support from their peers to be physically active. The children expressed concern about adverse weather conditions, safety, homework, and chore duties as common barriers to physical activity. The study found that barriers to physical activity at schools included a lack of facilities, equipment, and trained staff members to teach physical education. Parents were not consistently active with their children, but they were highly supportive of their childrens' activity level. Results of the study were used to design a physical activity program that is appropriate to both age and cultural groups.

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"The Natural Environment as a Playground for Children: The Impact of Outdoor Play Activities in Pre-primary School Children." I. Fjortoft. Early Childhood Education Journal. Winter 2001. Vol 29(2): pp.111-117.

This study from Norway reviews a growing trend in Scandinavian countries to organize kindergartens as outdoor schools, where the children, 3 to 6 years old, spend all or most of the day outdoors in a natural environment. Playing in a natural environment seems to have positive effects on children, as they become more creative in their play. Indications are that absence due to sicknesses is lower among children in outdoor kindergartens than in traditional ones. The study also indicates that children's motor fitness improves in such an environment. Children who learn in a natural environment move easily around in a rugged terrain and cope with physical challenges, which improve their motor ability. The small number of studies that examine this trend indicate that outdoor environment schools stimulate childrens' learning and development of creativity in general, and they particularly promote motor fitness training.

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NEW BOOK! Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers, 2002. 435 pp.ISBN: 0805831762 (hardcover); 0805831770 (paperback).

Health professionals who design and evaluate communication, social marketing, and mass communication campaigns to change health-related behavior will find this a useful resource. Chapters describe research studies that have evaluated public health communication programs established in the United States and in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Optimal conditions for success in programs to change health behaviors are illustrated.

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Credits:

Content for PBIC Currents is selected, edited and compiled by Mary Ellen Tucker, M.L.S., Librarian at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, and reviewed by Charles Zegeer, P.E., Director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). Copy editing responsibilities and web site design are managed by Katherine Hanburger.

Selection and Contents Notes: We do not list commercial, for-profit sites. Content is selected and evaluated according to the following criteria: relevance to subject area, technical accuracy of content and accompanying graphical material, and ease of use to a wide variety of readers.

What is PBIC Currents? PBIC Currents is a current awareness service of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Each month's issue focuses on a specially chosen topic, and presents the newest and most useful material from around the world.

Who is it for? PBIC Currents is for all members of the bicycling and walking community - users, advocates, educators, technical specialists, health care providers, planners, and anyone else who has an interest in promoting a safe and healthy environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. Enjoy!

Let us hear from you! Send comments to us at: pbic@pedbikeinfo.org