#vizyourkids ~ keep kids safe

Danger of the month: Outdoor games and play

Hide-and-seek? More like seek out some safety inside!

 

Great. It’s getting close to summer and we all know what that means – longer days, better weather and, soon enough, no more school. In other words, scraped knees, wasp stings and general mayhem.

Worse yet, it means the return of outdoor play or, as I like to call it, broken arms waiting to happen.

 

Nothing to fear but fear itself

Yeah? Whoever said that was a jerk.

Letting kids play outside unsupervised is the worst thing since letting kids slice bread. Have you played capture the flag or kickball lately? Have you jumped on a trampoline or explored a ditch with a stick? Probably not. And why? Because they suck. Not only that, these activities can be downright dangerous!

Sure, there’ll be those who tell you that unstructured and unsupervised play is important for kids’ self-esteem and decision-making processes, as well as creativity and cooperation. But when have the people at Harvard ever been known to be reliable sources?

 

What’s wrong with a nice carpeted family room?

Let kids play outside and you’re just setting yourself up for trouble. Maybe exposure to natural light is vital to let kids’ eyesight develop properly, but you might lose your sunglasses and then where would you be? And is Vitamin D really that important? Are rickets all that bad? After all, you could get a sunburn. 

Granted, running around outside is less likely to result in rug burns, but then you have to deal with grass stains. And probably you could just go buy a new game for the Wii that might provide a little exercise in the safety of your TV room.

 

Environment, shmenvironment . . .

Let your kids outside and next thing you know they’ll be bringing it in back in. While it may grow your child’s appreciation of bugs and plants, do you really want flowers and caterpillars making their way into your home? Digging in the soil and playing with sticks and rocks means that stuff will inevitably show up in and on your kids’ clothes. Ditches and puddles, ponds and forests, some may see ecosystems at work, but let’s face it, they can be messy.

 

Playing outside may give kids the chance to have fresh air, work up a sweat, interact with nature and learn how to take risks but is it all that great?

After all, it’s not like the old days before technology when parents’ only response to their kids complaining about being bored was simply, “Go play outside.” I’d like to think we’ve advanced past that sort of thing.

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