Child safety: New report embraces ‘risky play’ for kid’s development | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Are parents bubble-wrapping their kids too much?

A new report by the Canadian Paediatric Society is emphasizing the crucial role of risky play in fostering physical, mental, and social development among children.

The national organization issued new recommendations Thursday that encourage kids to engage in unstructured outdoor play — and “risky play” in particular.

It said that type of play varies by child, but is generally defined as “thrilling and exciting free play that involves uncertain outcomes and the possibility of physical injury.”

Shawna Sanford, a mother of two, agrees with the importance of challenging children.

“I say just do it. Break an arm. We’ll fix it,” she said.

Sanford believes it builds a sense of adventure and awareness of limitations.

“If you hurt yourself, you know not to do it again,” she said.

The organization encourages activities such as, supervised use of tools like axes, saws, knives and climbing ropes, playing near elements like water and fire, and venturing into neighborhoods or woods without direct supervision.

“During risky play, children learn to recognize and evaluate challenges, developing confidence in their decisions and abilities,” said chair of injury prevention at the Canadian Paediatric Society, Dr. Suzanne Beno.

“This encourages creative, spontaneous play, offering a plethora of physical, mental and social-emotional benefits.”

The report also emphasizes the importance of balancing safety with exploration and allowing kids to test their limits.

Grandparents Pat and Yvonne Lychak support the idea of promoting risky play with their grandchildren.

“It teaches them coordination. It teaches them boundaries. It teaches them how to understand what their limitations are and how far they can go. It’s fine within reason.”

Yvonne adds, “You’ve got to let kids explore, as long as you monitor and ensure they’re not putting themselves or others at risk.”

The report highlights that risky play contributes to building resilience and can aid in preventing or managing issues such as obesity and anxiety.

Kyle Mclean, a father, says there are many positive aspects of risky play.

“It can give them more confidence when they overcome fear,” said Mclean.

When asked about the riskiest thing she’s done, Shawna Sanford’s 10-year-old daughter admits, “Probably jumping off a play structure,” she said.

For Sanford and her daughter, risky play is about life lessons.

“I think it’s good for her to build her own ideas of what’s comfortable,” said Sanford.

“Unless you do, you don’t know.”

With files from The Canadian Press


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