Report: Preschoolers too sedentary
7 Healthcast: Report: Preschoolers too sedentary
Preschoolers aren't getting enough active play time according to a new study on child care published in the journal of pediatrics.
Three quarters of American children aged three to five are in some sort of child care but the study found they may not be spending enough time playing outdoors and just being kids.
Researchers talked to the staff at 34 child care centers in Cincinnati, Ohio.
They found an emphasis on classroom learning, policies to prevent playground injury, and budgetary constraints meant children weren't getting enough physical activity each day.
Pediatric experts recommend that preschoolers get 90 to 120 minutes of gross motor activity daily, such as running, skipping and playing games like tag, and that children be taken outdoors twice a day.
Researchers found that in an 8-hour day, children spent only two to three percent of their time doing these activities. The reasons: parents push for more academic learning and seem to place less value on their child's physical development.
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Preschoolers need active play not only to prevent obesity, but to learn social skills such as taking turns, learning to share and negotiate with their peers.
Also, some state safety guidelines for play structures have become stricter over time and that's made some equipment less challenging and interesting to children.
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