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Five reasons why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play

September 01, 2017
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Child climbing tree

Dr. Mariana Brussoni, an investigator with BC Children's Hospital and UBC, shares her top five reasons why parents should let their kids play outside, explore and take some risks.

  1. They’ll be more physically active and less sedentary
    Kids who are interested in what they’re doing and excited by possibilities are more likely to want to go out, and when they do, they’re more likely to be physically active. 
  2. They’ll develop resilience, self-confidence and risk management skills
    Being allowed to take risks helps children learn about the world and how it works, what they’re capable of, and how to keep themselves safe. 
  3. They’ll do better in school 
    Outdoor play helps cultivate curiosity and wonder. Children who are given regular opportunities for playing how they choose, can concentrate better and perform better in the classroom. 
  4. Children are much more capable than we give them credit for
    Give them a chance to figure things out for themselves and you’ll likely be amazed by what they accomplish. 
  5. There’s never been a safer time to be a kid in Canada 
    Deaths due to injuries are at an all-time low. The major causes of injury deaths are being in cars or suicides, not playing. The benefits kids get from outdoor play far outweigh the risks. 
Learn more at OutsidePlay.ca. Developed by Dr. Brussoni and her team, this online tool helps parents and caregivers gain the confidence to allow their kids to engage in more outdoor play.