It's springtime, and that means mud pies, bug bites and scraped knees—if you're a preschooler. Or at least it used to.
Health experts say young children should get at least an hour of physical activity a day. And studies have linked more time outside with motor development, improved mental health, better behavior and, of course, more sun-supplied vitamin D.
But a new study of nearly 9,000 U.S. children found that almost half of preschool-age kids are not getting outside at least once a day with their parents.
Girls were even less likely to be taken outside than boys, and some families reported not taking their young children outside more than a few times a month. The findings are in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. [Pooja S. Tandon, Chuan Zhou and Dimitri A. Christakis, "Frequency of Parent-Supervised Outdoor Play of US Preschool-Aged Children"]
Kids who had daycare were slightly less likely to get the time outside with a parent. They were also unlikely to get the recommended minimum one-hour of physical activity while at daycare. So researchers recommended checking in with care providers about time outside. One hour out of 24 isn't too much to ask, right?
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]