New Canadian research suggests that kids who go to daycare aren’t getting as much outdoor play time as their peers who are cared for at home.
The study, by scientists at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, found that children who go to daycare – full- or part-time – get about 15 minutes less time of outdoor free play at home.
While 15 minutes doesn’t seem like much, they’re warning that the disparity could put kids at risk of childhood obesity or even bad long-term habits as they grow up.
“While most of us recognize the importance of daily physical activity, we hope this research brings more attention to the crucial role of outdoor free play wherever young kids are spending time,” lead author, Sarah Carsley, said. She’s a research manager at SickKids and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto.
“It’s a reminder to parents that any little bit of time outdoors helps and will set their kids on health trajectories for the rest of their lives,” she told Global News.
The study is the latest out of TARGet Kids!, a project led by St. Michael’s Hospital, SickKids and the University of Toronto.
Launched about six years ago, the project brings together families, doctors, pediatricians, researchers and educators. So far, about 6,000 kids are enrolled in the long-term study that hopes to follow babies into adulthood, offering a life-long glimpse into the health of Canadians.
Research about kids’ eating and exercise habits have poured…
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