When children return to school, an emphasis should be placed on outdoor play to provide a sense of normalcy to the school day and support children’s social, emotional, and physical well-being. The result of COVID-19 related restrictions on children’s movement is such that children have spent far less time outdoors and in outdoor play, and far more time sedentary and in front of screens. We know that when children are outside, they move more, sit less, and play longer. Recess provides an opportunity for all children to return to play, and is especially vital for those whose access to outdoor spaces have been severely limited this year. When in doubt, send them out!-Outdoor Play Canada Leadership Group
“The research is clear that children benefit from recess, not only academically but physically, socially and emotionally. After “social isolating” for a number of weeks – heaven forbid months – one could actually argue that re-socializing children through regular recess should be a top priority.Andrew Garner, MD Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2019 Outstanding Pediatrician of the Year, Ohio, Co-author of 2018 AAP Clinical Report, “The Power of Play”
Is closing school playgrounds and eliminating recess a good idea? Of course not. There is no reason to believe that children are going to be at more risk for catching coronavirus from the playground than from the doorknobs, pencil sharpeners or desks that they would be exposed to when they are at school but not at recess.
Recess should be a priority in the post-quarantine era because it is an evidence-based intervention to promote not only academic success but physical, emotional and social well-being.”
“As former Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I have had the honor to advocate for increased activity for kids in all settings. Nothing builds activity into a child’s life more effectively than recess.
The opportunity for fun, creative play takes activity to a place where kids can experience the joy of running, climbing and other activities in both social and solitary ways. Recess transforms activity from a “should” activity to a “want to” one. In my opinion, there is no more powerful way to promote a lifetime love of being active and healthy..”Christopher F. Bolling, MD, FAAP,
Pediatric Associates, PSC Crestview Hills, KY, Volunteer Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
“Shutting down playgrounds is appealing to many for a sense of control but a closed classroom and shared meals are more likely to spread an airborne pathogen.
Play is essential. Unstructured time is vital for development, stress reduction and physical and mental health. The ways forward to keep playgrounds safe align with all of the health measures we have always emphasized: good hand washing, isolating those who are ill and cleaning highly trafficked areas.”Jeffrey Hutchinson, MD Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Colonel (ret.), U.S. Army, Co-author of 2018 AAP Clinical Report, “The Power of Play”
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