August 08, 2016

The Dangerous Outdoors

Boy Climbing Window

If it’s so good for kids to play outside, why don’t they? Here are some of the reasons school administrators, teachers, childcare providers, and parents give for limiting outdoor play time:

  • Takes time away from academics
  • Might lead to physical injury or illness
  • Inadequate clothing and gear for the weather
  • Too easy for bullying to be undetected by adults
  • Children might get lost
  • Traffic is too dangerous
  • Dangerous people
  • Neighbors or passersby might report a parent doing anything deemed “wrong”

Some of these reasons have more merit than others, but as with most risks, if we avoid them entirely, we lose out on the associated rewards. With so many health and developmental benefits associated with playing outside, we need to be studying the validity of these concerns and finding ways to mitigate any real risks. I plan to look at each of these concerns in future blog posts, but for now, more information on some of these risks can be found here.