The new 'Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play' uses hard facts to combat hyper-parents' obsession with keeping kids indoors to keep them safe.
So many kids are kept indoors now, instead of being allowed to play and roam outside, that the issue is being positioned as a children’s rights concern. Kids need to be outside, to run around, climb trees, build forts, collect bugs, and toboggan down snowy hills, and yet this goes against our society’s tendency toward hyper-parenting.
“Canadian children now spend an average of 8.6 hours per day sedentary. The lure of the indoors has been fueled by improvements in indoor climate control and increased entertainment temptations (e.g., television, computers, electronic games, tablets, cell phones), as well as concerns for child safety.”
By not allowing kids to play unsupervised outdoors and be in situations where they must assess risk for themselves, parents limit “essential learning and developmental opportunities for children, while also reducing their physical activity and increasing sedentary behaviours.”
Early this year, a group of Canadian researchers published the first-ever Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play. This evidence-based document was created in response to the ongoing heated debate about the relative benefits and harms of active outdoor play. Its conclusion was supported by 95 percent of the stakeholders who were involved in the Position Statement’s writing:
“Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks— is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child…
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