April 26, 2012
Minority Kids’ Parents Less Likely to Take Them Outside to Play
Preschoolers benefit physically and mentally from daily outdoor exercise, but minority moms and dads don’t make playtime in fresh air and sunshine a priority, and they are also less likely to take their daughters outside to play, according to a new study published in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine and reported by Time.
For the study, researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort and surveyed what 8,950 parents reported about the frequency of their kids’ parent-supervised outdoor playtime. Scientists found that, on average, about half of preschool children in the nationally representative sample were not being taken outside by parents. In addition, researchers observed that black mothers were 41 percent less likely than white parents to spend time on the playground with their kids. (Hispanic mothers were 20 percent less likely than whites to go outside to play with their kids.)
“Children need outdoor time every day, and they need more outdoor play opportunities than they’re getting,” said Pooja S. Tandon, MD, MPH, a researcher at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital.
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children play outside as much as possible. What’s more, other studies linked kids’ outside play with improved motor development, vision, cognition, vitamin D levels and mental health.
Click here to read what Michelle Paige Paterson, New York State’s former first lady, said about why some parents don’t let their kids go outside to play.
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