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Be Out There: The Ten Reasons Parents Should Care About Outdoor Time For Kids
The National Wildlife Federation’s new Be Out There Campaign aims to educate tens of million of U.S. moms and dads on the importance of helping their kids have more time outdoors and providing tools to do so.
Here is Be Out There’s list of the 10 best reasons a parent should care:
1. Stronger bones and lower cancer risk: Today’s “indoor kids” don’t get enough sun and are becoming Vitamin D deficient, causing health risks.
2. Trimmer and more healthy kids: An hour of play a day is what doctors say is a basic tool in the effort to ward off childhood obesity and diabetes.
3. Improved eyesight: Recent studies find that kids who get outdoor time have less nearsightedness and need for eye glasses.
4. Less depression and hyperactivity: Outdoor time in natural setting (even tree-lined streets) soothes kids and lower their need for medications.
5. Longer attention spans: Children who stare at TV and video games all day have less patience and shorter attention spans.
6. Better at making friends: Children playing together outdoors relate directly with one another, create games together, choose sides and improve their “people” skills.
7. More creative: Outdoor kids are more likely to use their own imaginations, inventions and creativity while playing.
8. Less “acting out” at home and school: Getting kids away from TV violence and video games helps them see that violent behavior does not always solve problems.
9. Measurably better grades in school: The healthy bodies and minds that come with outdoor play are better able to do well in school.
10: A longer lifespan and healthier adult life: Doctors estimate that sedentary and obese children lose three to five years from their life expectancy.
If none of these practical and important reasons work for you — consider that a child who spends time outdoors breathes healthier air (than indoors), learns to see the wonders of nature, climbs trees, has more fun and learns a deeper respect for wildlife and natural surroundings.
Now if we can only get out kids to Be Out There more often!