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Preschoolers Are Not Getting Enough Outside Time, Pediatricians Urge More Time In The Yard
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Almost half of American children ages three to five are not getting enough time outdoors according to a report in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. That time is not just "play" according to researchers and may impact physical health, development and even social skills. But, there are a number of factors that may be keeping many of these kids from getting enough outside time to be effective.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation for children of that age is to play outside as much as possible or a minimum of one hour every day.

With the growing obesity epidemic, getting outside to play is more important than ever. But, in addition to helping with weight control, researchers have also linked playing outdoors with key motor development skills, better vision and increased Vitamin D levels. Children who spend more time outside also develop their social skills and peer interaction. Outdoor play may also spark creativity.

In a survey of more than nine thousand children in the preschool age group and their parents, researchers found that day care is only one of the factors that may reduce the amount of time that children are able to get outside. By the time the children reached age three,more than eighty percent were in some form of day care, averaging more than thirty hours in the program each week. The survey found that mothers were more likely to take their children out to play than fathers were. Women who reported frequent exercise were more likely to include outdoor time with their kids than women who said that they did not exercise or only exercised occasionally. Boy children were reported to spend the most time outside, spending far more time than girls did.

With the amount of time that children spend in them, it is important for parents to analyze the outside time at the day care center. But, there are other things that need to be considered. In reaction to the report, a number of parents complained, saying that the study's author made it sound as if parents just did not bother taking their children out. They cited problems including no safe areas for the children to play in and a lack of time to take them out to play.But, the researchers found that people who did not work outside the home were just as likely not to take their children outside. Researchers also suggest making outside time, family time.


Street Talk

Funny now that I think about this. The best class times that stand out in my mind are the ones where we were ether on a field trip of holding class outdoors. Thanks for the memories.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I know! I am so glad that I never had a problem with getting my kids outside. My problem is dragging the youngest one back inside at the end of the day.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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