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News Center Items by Josefina Prieto

U.K. Doctors Call for Caution in Children’s Use of Screens and Social Media

Britain’s top doctors have issued advice to families about social media and screen use. U.K. Chief Medical Officers (CMO) published a commentary on screen-based activities and children and young people’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing warning that too much time sitting down or using mobile devices can get in the way of important, healthy activities. The medical officers declined to set age and time limits, saying that there was not enough evidence to do so. 

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Announces Commitment to Connect 10 Million Children to the Benefits of Gardens and Greenspaces

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company announced the launch of a national initiative to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens and greenspaces to 10 million U.S. children over the next five years. Through its Gro More Good program, Scotts Miracle-Gro will provide monetary grants, educational curriculum and training to communities across the U.S. in collaboration with its partners, with the goal of creating more gardens, greenspaces and refurbished outdoor play spaces for children.

Lawmakers, Governor Introduce Bill To Create Office Of Outdoor Recreation And Outdoor Equity Fund

New Mexico lawmakers have introduced a bill to create a new Division to focus on the creation and growth of outdoor recreation-based small businesses across the state and promote the use and stewardship of New Mexico’s vast network of public lands, national forests, state parks, waters, rivers, mountains and more. The bill also creates the Outdoor Equity Fund, seeking an appropriation of $100,000 administered by the Youth Conservation Corps to provide micro-grants to nonprofit organizations, local governments, and Native American communities to fund outdoor recreation and education programs that serve at least a 40 percent low-income population of youth up to 18.

Car Pollution Hurts Kids’ Performance in School

New research indicates that when students switch to schools with higher levels of traffic pollution, they tend to experience declines in test scores, more behavioral incidents, and more absences. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published a working paper on the research, with the study authors noting that, while there is a literature on how pollution affects prenatal and birth outcomes, there isn’t a lot of research on how typical levels of pollution affect kids who are already born.

£10m for Projects to Make U.K. Schools Greener and Connect Children with Nature

The U.K.’s Environment Secretary has launched a “year of green action” to encourage more people, including youngsters, to get involved in projects which help the natural world. The effort also allocates £10 million in grants to make school grounds greener, and increase the number of school visits to parks, wildlife sites, “care farms” that use farm activities to help disadvantaged people, and national parks.

Lack of Outdoor Play Makes Kids Vitamin D Deficient

Medical experts in Ahmedabad believe children are increasingly suffering from Vitamin D deficiency and poor bone health due to a lack of exposure to the sun from reduced playtime outdoors. They point to the move to an indoor culture as factors responsible for the rise in these medical conditions in children.

Global Wellness Report Cites Nature Prescriptions as 2019 Wellness Trend

650 wellness experts from 50 nations who gathered at the Global Wellness Summit released an in-depth report, “Eight Wellness Trends for 2019” on the future of wellness. Among the trends cited in the report are nature prescriptions, in which a growing number of doctors are “medicalizing nature” because of the medical evidence for its benefits. The report references the Scotland National Health Service’s “nature prescription” program, the Washington, D.C.-based program Park RX as well as Tokyo-based Dr. Qing Li’s work on the benefits of forest bathing.

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