Q & A

Q. What happens if a child using Walkodile® falls over?

A. Nothing - a falling child will not lead to the rest of the group falling over too. Individual children have fallen over during trails & no effect was evident to the rest of the group. In fact, our safety advisers said that if the mass of the other five children is greater than the mass of the falling child, it's impossible for the falling child to make the rest of the group fall. Furthermore, their report stated a child falling linked to the product is an advantage, because the child has more time to react to the fall as they're falling at a slower rate because they're linked to the other children. And of course if a child does fall, the supervisor can give it as much attention as needed, as the other children in the group cannot wander off.

Q. Why is Walkodile® needed?

A. We know from years of research that childcare staff & parents want a product like Walkodile®. Also most educational experts agree that outdoor education is important for children & Walkodile® encourages more outdoor learning to take place. What's more using it with early years children means better learning opportunities are created.

Road safety organisations agree that walks with children outwith school or nursery creates many risks. They say children make unpredictable pedestrians - traffic coping skills are complex, therefore children do not have the ability to judge speed, distance & danger accurately until at least 8 years old. Young children are also much smaller than adults & therefore more difficult to see.

Q. How do you know Walkodile® works?

A. We know it works because our customers tell us! We get fantastic feedback from schools, nurseries & playgroups telling us how much safer & more enjoyable their walks are using Walkodile®.

Q. How does Walkodile® work?

A. The product links a maximum of six children to a central flexible spine, which they hold on to whilst they walk. Each child is fitted with a high visibility, adjustable safety belt & the sections of the spine are joined together. When the group is ready, staff link the children to the central spine using a 2-way safety clip. Finally, staff put their high visibility vests on & the group is ready to go.

Q. What is Walkodile® made from?

A. It's made from plastic components - polypropylene & nylon. This gives the product the flexibility it needs so the children are comfortable & have freedom of movement. It also means it's robust, durable & easy to clean.

Q. Where does the adult supervisor position themselves during the walk?

A. Adult supervision on the walk will be decided by completing the risk assessment for the trip. However we think Walkodile® works best with an adult at each end, holding onto a child's hand. Both supervisors should be on the same side of the group, on the pavement between the children & traffic.

Q. Does using Walkodile® mean that schools & nurseries can use less staff to accompany children on a walk?

A. No. Walkodile® is not meant to create less supervision. The same number of supervisors are required, but they'll be better able to manage the outing because of Walkodile®.

Q. What if the children are crossing the street, & a vehicle approaches at speed & they need to get off the road quickly - won't Walkodile® make their escape more difficult?

A. No, the product actually gives all childcare staff an advantage in that they're now able to steer up to six children out of harm's way in the event of an emergency.

Q. What do parents & children think about the product?

A. Our research has shown parents like the product as it gives them peace of mind knowing their children are safer when on a walking trip.

Children like the bright colours & think using Walkodile® is a great adventure.

Q. What ages of children can use the product?

A. We recommend Walkodile® is used by 3-7 year olds, although we have seen it used successfully by younger children.

Q. Can the children negotiate stairs when using the product?

A. Yes. A key feature of Walkodile® is its flexibility. It has been designed to articulate in the vertical plane so children can go up & down stairs easily.

Q. What happens if one child misbehaves while using Walkodile®?

A. Children have the capacity to misbehave whether they are using Walkodile® or not, & the product is not intended to stop this. If a child misbehaves this would be handled by the supervisor.

Q. How many children can use the product?

A. A maximum of six children & it can also be set up for four children.Walkodile® Duo accommodates two children.

Q. How do you know the product is safe for children to use?

A. Many successful trials have shown the product is safe. Also, the Ergonomics & Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Loughborough University carried out a safety audit on the product's design. They identified design improvements which were incorporated into the final design. They commended the product & applauded Red Island for its intelligent & thorough approach to design. The product was designed by The Design Unit, at De Montfort University, Leicester. Walkodile® was tested by STR Laboratories in Reading - Europe's largest childcare product testing facility. They subjected the product to testing carried out on similar childcare products & Walkodile® passed each test.