According to Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” there are about 60 scientific articles that look at the benefit of children spending time in nature. He believes children can have problems from being isolated from the natural world.
Robert Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity Health in Washington DC, is a founder and medical director for Park Rx America – a nonprofit that encourages doctors to write prescriptions for parks. He states that this helps with both stressed out, anxious children and children that have weight issues. Beyond that, some studies suggest that outdoor play can be helpful for ADHD. Their website (Parkrxamerica.org) allows a search for parks near a family’s address. He says a lot of parents are fearful of things like falling out of a tree or stranger danger but he points out that the risks are small and the possibility of raising a more resilient child is high.
Captain Sarah Newman says that “…the pattern of 90 percent indoors is going to kill us.” She believes we need a respite from cities and need to connect with nature. She adds that going to parks is “…probably the most cost effective and accessible opportunity to keep your kids healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Don’t let your child become “nature deficient”! Take them outside, preferable early in the morning before this Texas heat becomes unbearable….
Susan Badaracco MD, pediatrician and author of “The Oath” series