Allowing children to regularly explore and experience nature can lead to positive health benefits including lowering the risk of childhood obesity, reducing allergies, and improving mental health. Through nature children experience more physical activity than indoor entertainment which can combat childhood obesity. While in nature a child’s body can adapt to allergies and eventually become immune. Lastly nature can help to improve a child’s overall mental health. Unfortunately interactions with nature have decreased substantially for children when compared to the time their parents spent with nature during their childhood years. This decline is caused by factors such as parental anxiety, and fast paced lifestyles. Despite the factors that caused the decline in children’s experiences with nature there are ways that parents and caregivers can increase nature experience and exploration for their children, allowing them to reap all the benefits nature provides.
With the current obesity epidemic on the rise the number of children in the United States diagnosed as being obese is greatly increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, and in 2010 it was estimated that over one third of the child population was either considered overweight or obese. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014) Fortunately, allowing children to openly explore and experience nature can greatly lower the risk for childhood obesity. As children play outdoors they partake in various physical activities. These activities can include games such as tag, hide and go seek, or even sports such as soccer and basketball. Other activities are geared toward individual play suc...
... middle of paper ...
...is only logical that children should be enabled and encouraged to partake in outdoor activities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, February 12). Adolescent and School Health. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
Hitti, M. (2014, February 12). ADHD in Children Health Center. Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/news/20040827/nature-helps-fight-adhd
News, N. N. (2014, February 12). Get back to nature to reduce allergies and asthma . Retrieved from NYR Natrual News : http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/nature/2012/05/get-back-to-nature-to-reduce-allergies-and-asthma/
Vindum, T. (2014, February 12). Reduce Stress in the Great Outdoors. Retrieved from Athletachi : http://www.athleta.net/2011/02/23/reduce-stress-in-the-great-outdoors/
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