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The Walkodile – ingenious child safety walker

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May 11, 2006

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May 12, 2006 UPDATED IMAGE LIBRARY This rates as one of the best and most sensible ideas we’ve ever seen. Anyone who has ever tried to orchestrate a public outing for more than two children under the age of eight years knows the dangers. Children don’t have the ability to judge speed, distance and danger so they make unpredictable and vulnerable pedestrians with matters often made much worse due to arousal levels heightened by the proximity of other children. The Walkodile child safety walker is a significant development in the field of child safety as it offers a stress-free method of shepherding a group of primary school age children in public. The UKP200 Walkodile links four to six children to a central flexible spine, which they can hold on to whilst they walk. Each child is fitted with a high visibility, adjustable harness and joined to the Walkodile, which has been very successful in both formal and informal tests, as supervisors are able to steer six children by holding the hand of just one of the lead children. Quite predictably invented by a school teacher (that’s the inventor Elaine Stephen pictured), the Walkodile means no more lost children and a greatly reduced possibility of much worse.

The Walkodile child safety walker is a significant development in the field of child safety as it offers a stress-free method of shepherding a group of primary school age children in public. The UKP200 Walkodile links four to six children to a central flexible spine, which they can hold on to whilst they walk.

Each child is fitted with a high visibility, adjustable harness and joined to the Walkodile, which has been very successful in both formal and informal tests, as supervisors are able to steer six children by holding the hand of just one of the lead children. Quite predictably invented by a school teacher (that’s the inventor Elaine Stephen pictured), the Walkodile means no more lost children and a greatly reduced possibility of much worse.

On reaching their destination the children are simply unclipped from the central spine. However, they continue to wear their high visibility harness for their lesson or play so they are more easily seen in large open spaces or built up areas. When they are finished, the children are clipped back into Walkodile ready for their journey back to school or nursery.

The Walkodile costs UKP200 but if you purchase more than one, the cost reduces to UKP$100 for each subsequent unit. The Walkodile offers several benefits:

    Children are kept safer then ever before on a walking trip The supervisor’s job of controlling the children is more effective and less stressful The walk is now relaxed, encouraging more interaction between staff and pupils Teamwork is promoted amongst the children and leadership for the front pair The risk of a child becoming cut off from the group is reduced As a group, staff and children are more easily seen by other road users.
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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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2 Comments

I have the one comment to make on this \'safety\' device

Imagine the scenario that an out of control car is veering towards the children, or some other incident where there is immediate danger (falling wall, tree, dog attack, the children are tethered together and unable to run instinctively from danger in any direction). In the case of the car scenario the entire child group would be wiped out.

This device in my mind is very dangerous and there is no way my child is going to be tethered to one

kind regards m

MALCOLM INNES

I can only imagne malcolm you have not seen one in action or used one, nor are you responsible for walking with groups of other people\'s children.

We have one at our nursery center and it works incredibly well.

The scenario you outline assumes that loose chidlren will run away from the danger - this may not be the case. They may freeze or run the wrong way. At least with Walkodile we now have the abiity to steer 6 children out of harms way. Besides the no 1 risk - way above any other risk when we take the chidlren for a walk is that one will run into the road. Walkodile completely mitigates against this risk therefore it can only be seen as an improvement. PLus our chidlren absolutely love it!

Beka Harper
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