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Active free play helps children with physical, emotional and mental well being

By Dr. Moshe Levy

These days, who doesn’t have a packed schedule? Between school, work, after school activities and family obligations, we tend to all get caught up in the same everyday routine and it is affecting our children. Kids are spending more and more time inside watching TV and/or playing video games. As schools are cutting back more and more on recess, children miss the opportunity to just be kids and play outside. With childhood obesity, behavior issues and other physical ailments on the rise lately, we must begin to rethink our daily schedules.

Studies have shown that children who have more active free play than those with a structured play time are more likely to interact socially with their peers, problem solve simple obstacles/tasks, and develop more creativity on their own. This aids in the child’s physical, emotional and mental well being.

The CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Nutrition recommend that children have a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. By taking family time outside, you not only aid in the child’s health and well being, but you as the adult benefit as well. With spring right around the corner, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do from gardening and hiking to an impromptu basketball game. Take advantage of local parks, beaches or your very own backyard. As our children are growing up in a hurried electronic society, we must not forget to let the kids be kids and get a healthy dose of sunshine.

Dr. Moshe practices at Wee Care Pediatrics, 831 Tennent Road, Manalapan. For more information, call 732-536-6222 or visit www.weecarepediatricsnj.com.

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