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Green Schoolyards Offer Physical and Mental Health Benefits for Children

Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that green schoolyards bring families and communities together in a healthy environment. C&NN Board Member, Dr. Stephen Pont, will present the abstract. For this study, researchers summarized the peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting green schoolyard benefits to academic outcomes, beneficial play, physical activity, and mental health.

Parks, Outdoor Spaces Gear up for Annual Take a Child Outside Week

Take a Child Outside Week will kick off on September 24th. The annual event, founded by Liz Baird of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, is marked in all 50 states and four other countries. The week’s events are designed to help kids get out and explore the natural world. Many events are offered by state and local park systems.

Urban Kids with Asthma May Benefit from Green Space

Living near a park or other green space benefits city kids with severe asthma, especially older kids who are more likely to play outside on their own, according to a new study. The study included 196 children in the city of Baltimore, ages of 3 to 12 years, who had either visited emergency departments at least twice or had asthma-related hospitalizations during the past year.

Outdoor Adventures Prepare Children for the Future

Over 4,000 children in South Africa are registered to take part in the global Outdoor Classroom Day campaign on October 12th. With the help of teachers across the country, the campaigners hope to dramatically grow that number. The campaign is a response to the decline in the time that children spend outdoors.

Research Team Suggests Effort to Explore Nature’s Impact on Health

Researchers at Seattle’s University of Washington (UW) led by former C&NN board member Howard Frumkin, will take on the question “how do you measure a ‘dose’ of nature?” with a focus on lifestyle and environmental planning. The team pinpointed possible links between contact with nature and obesity, heart disease, cancer and depression and/or anxiety.

September Is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in the U.S., a national event to raise awareness of the problem which affects one in six children in this country. Experts say a rise in idle activities, such as watching television and streaming services and playing video games, has the impact of increasing obesity. They advise that kids need at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside at least three times a week as well as vigorous physical activity.

A New Declaration States that Risk-Taking is Essential for Kids’ Development

A new declaration from the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) states that, while promoting risk-taking on school grounds may raise questions of liability for schools and concerns for parents, it is essential for the development of healthy young people. The declaration, which was made available in 13 different languages, cites research from around the world demonstrating the benefits of risk-taking and showing that an indiscriminate risk-minimization policy can be a source of harm.

Social and Emotional Health Are Important Benefits of School Gardens

While the academic benefits of school gardens for students have become more widely accepted in recent years, the social and emotional benefits are often overlooked. Yet, numerous studies of school gardens show improvements in students’ feelings of well-being and therefore, ability to learn.


“It’s just the two of us moms and four boys.” This is the sentence I repeated dozens of times earlier this year when describing my summer plans to friends and family. Usually, a series of question would follow: will you sleep in tents? (yes); on the ground?...
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