Next time you head outside on a brisk walk or take your kids to the park, do something for me – look around and come back to tell me what you see. My guess is, you won’t see very many kids playing outside at all. Sad, isn’t? Well, Experts Say Kids Aren’t Playing Outside Enough and I Have to Agree…
Ever since we moved into our neighborhood about 3 years ago we have made it a goal to take a nightly walk as a family. Whether it be to walk down to the grocery store near our house, walk over to the park, or even take a stroll through the gulley (a mountain/hiking area near our home) we want to ensure our kids are getting outside every day. Sure, some days that doesn’t happen but for the most part is does.
One thing we have noticed is that we hardly ever see other kids outside doing the same or even outside playing for that matter. Truthfully, it’s sad not only for my kids (because I want them to play with other kids their age) but also for the kids in the neighborhood and I am not the only noticing.
In fact, experts are noticing too and they are saying that kids are not getting enough outdoor play which is necessary especially for maintaining an overall well-being.
Dr. Mark Tremblay, a senior scientist at the CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) Research Institute says that the dangers that come from a child being indoors for too long include; increased chances of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, lower bone mineral density and mental health issues. (Source)
And I didn’t know this but apparently parents believe that kids are safer indoors thus keeping them from playing outside. Basically, parents believe their kids will get hurt, kidnapped or something else terrible will happen so they keep them inside where it’s “safe”.
The belief that kids are safer inside, he said, is “the biggest myth going, because from a health perspective almost nothing good happens indoors.”
Now, he is specifically referring to kids and parents in Canada but, American children have the same issues. In a study, it was found that children aged 5 to 16 spend on average, 6.5 hours a day in front of a screen. So, it is certainly a problem.
Bottom line is – it is GOOD for kids to play outside. Allow them to be creative, be in touch with nature, and enjoy fresh air. The best thing you can do for your child is send them outside. Heck, go out with them, the outdoors is good for everyone!
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