Kids lack outdoor time with parents – study

2012-04-03 15:31

Roughly half of preschoolers don’t spend time playing outside with a parent each day, despite the fact that outdoor play has been tied to a host of benefits for young children, including avoiding childhood obesity, a recent US survey found.

In interviews with parents of close to 9?000 children, fewer than half of mothers and only a quarter of fathers reported taking their child for a walk or playing with them in the yard or park at least once a day.

“It’s not easy to have outdoor playtime with your children every day... Especially for parents who work outside the home,” said Pooja Tandon, a paediatrician at the University of Washington in Seattle, who worked on the study.

Guidelines from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education suggest that children get at least an hour of physical activity a day for long-term health benefits, such as helping to ward off childhood obesity.

Preschoolers should also get a few hours of unstructured playtime each day.

According to the study forty-four percent of mothers and 24% of fathers said they had parent-child outdoor playtime each day.

According to the interviews, half of the children got to play outside at least once daily with either one of their parents.

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