Canadian Pediatricians Ask That Children Be Allowed To Play Outdoors

    Away from digital screens and out to the fresh air

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    Climbing a tree, sliding on a sled or playing rough and tumble are outdoor activities that should be encouraged in children to promote health, Canadian pediatricians say in a new guide.

    New recommendations released January 25 by the Canadian Society of Pediatrics (SCP) emphasize the importance of unstructured outdoor play for children’s development and physical and mental health amid rising obesity, anxiety and sleep problems. behavior.

    Dr. Suzanne Beno, one of the authors of the new directives, said they don’t want mothers, fathers or educators to always instill fear in children.Even in situations where there is not much danger, we can provoke more anxiety and more fear than necessary, he explained.

    As an emergency physician at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and head of the Canadian Pediatric Society’s injury prevention committee, Beno said it’s also important to distinguish risk from danger.

    There may be a risk when climbing to the top of a play structure or climbing a tree. As long as it is exciting and exciting for the child, that is a risky game, as they are discovering how much they can do.

    Suzanne Beno, an emergency physician at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto suggested that adults in a child’s life move from constant warnings of be careful, a phrase that children can interpret as don’t trust me, to using other types of words when the child is in a physically risky situation.

    Those phrases could be: See how high you are?, Look how sharp this tool is, Do you feel scared/excited/safe?While hazards like busy roads or rough water are obvious, others, like being near a fire or play-fighting, are more nuanced, the authors said.

    Evidence-based safety measures such as the use of bicycle helmets, life jackets and safety gates cannot be ignored.Common elements of risky play include playing at height: climbing, jumping, or balancing, as well as high-speed play, such as cycling, sledding, or running.Other games that are risky and require supervision are those that involve tools, or using an ax and hammer to build a fort.

    Being near water or fire is also a risk, as is getting lost exploring play spaces, neighborhoods or forests without adult supervision or, in the case of young children, hiding behind bushes with limited supervision.

    Outdoor games versus computer screens

    Canadian pediatricians said opportunities for risky play declined in recent decades as unscheduled free play outdoors was replaced by planned activities. Children now spend more time indoors, often in front of television, computer and cell phone screens.

    Part of this change was due to a focus on preventing any injuries rather than focusing on serious and deadly risks, the Canadian Pediatric Society said.The 2022 ParticipACTION results report gave Canadian children an overall grade of D in physical activity and a D– in active play, both very low grades.

    ParticipACTION is a Canadian non-profit organization that seeks to inspire and support people living in Canada to make physical activity a vital part of their daily lives.

    Dr. April Kam, a pediatric emergency physician at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., said it’s healthier for children to play outdoors to build resilience, develop skills and learn their limits through natural consequences. .

    Away from wrong parenting

    This means moving away from helicopter parenting, over-parenting, over-scheduling, and recognizing that it is probably healthy and good for children to be children and to be allowed to experience developmental and age-appropriate challenges.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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