“As Dr. Mark Tremblay, the chief scientific officer of the ParticipACTION Report Card says, we have lost the balance between short-term safety and long-term health. In outdoor play, risk doesnt mean courting danger, but rather giving kids the freedom to assess their surroundings and make decisions, allowing them to build confidence, develop skills, solve problems and learn limits. Not only will kids move more if theyre outside, playing freely, but theyll be set up to be more resilient and less likely to develop chronic diseases in the long run.
What many adults recall from their childhood as thrilling and exciting play that tested boundaries such as exploring the woods, rough housing, moving fast or playing at heights is often called risky play these days. While these activities could lead to injuries, the vast majority are minor.”
Read the whole media release here >
You can also download the full report from the ParticipACTION website.
The Guardian author Kate Blinco hits the nail on the head with her article discussing the value of risky play for children and why parents need to back off and let their kids get bruised.
Children need to be exposed to risky play. For ‘helicopter parents’, this might be difficult – but kids need to learn to manage danger themselves
Risk is an essential component of a balanced childhood. Exposure to healthy risk, particularly physical, enables children to experience fear, and learn the strengths and limitations of their own body. However, before you book a one-way ticket to Beachy Head for you and the toddler, or dump the iPad-loving six-year-old in the woods with just a compass, let’s think about this more carefully.
For this generation of children, shuttled from padded soft play, to school, to club, to sofa, we’ve got a lot of work to do before they come over all Bear Grylls. As parents, many of us are unaccustomed to allowing even the tiniest degree of danger to enter the lives of our children. Surely it’s the job of a good parent to keep them safe? That’s why roaming distance (how far children play from home)has decreased by 90% in the past 30 years.
Read the full article here >>