With stories of childhood obesity never far from the headlines, it’s easy to believe that each generation of children is lazier than the last. But a new survey of 6 – 11 year olds suggests that British children believe they’re wrapped in cotton wool by their parents and would like more freedom to play outside.
The research by family skincare brand Sudocrem found that almost 3 in 5 children (57%) said their parents worried too much about their safety and almost two-thirds of those aged 8 – 11 (64%) thought they should be able to go to the park with their friends, unaccompanied by an adult.
Encouragingly, the study also revealed a generation of children who recognise they don’t play out in the fresh air often enough, with 52% of those questioned admitting they spend too much time on games consoles and a further 60% saying there should be more games to encourage kids to play outside, like Pokemon Go.
However, while many children recognise they should spend more time outdoors, many aren’t acting on this with 61% claiming they don’t have enough time to play outside. Between school, homework and after-school activities, British children are spending an average of 5 hours each week outside compared to 45.5 hours in front of the TV.
According to Professor Sir Robert Winston, spending so much time using technology at the cost of time in the great outdoors can have an impact on a child’s development. “My journey to primary school was a long walk, alone, then a three-mile ride on the 23 bus; by the age of eight I travelled alone for 50 minutes on the Tube across London,” says Professor Winston. “Are there really more attacks on children now? Or are we just too frightened of what seems to be a threatening environment? Outdoor play is important to children!”
This is why Sudocrem has been working hard to encourage parents to be more dareful and less careful and this has been supported by their Play More initiative, helping children to get outside. Play More are offering the chance for community nurseries across the country to win either a Playground Regeneration Grant or Play More outdoor toy equipment.
Sudocrem’s Brand Manager, Georgina Fotopoulou said, “Children love outdoor play but they’re bound to scrape their knees. This is all part of the learning process. A cuddle and a tub of Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream can make a lot of things better. We’ve been healing skin for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More.”
If you think your child’s nursery could do with improving their outdoor facilities, go to www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub and nominate.