Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hispanic Preschoolers Get Less Outdoor Play Time, Study Says

A new study has found that Latino preschoolers are less likely to be taken outside for playtime by their mothers than white children, HealthDay reports.

The study appearing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that only about 51 percent of all children were receiving daily outdoor play that was supervised by their parents. Boys were given more play opportunities than girls.

Hispanic mothers were about 20 percent less likely than white mothers to give their children supervised play time. Researchers were troubled by the findings because of the important role of play in child development. ”Being physically active is good for your brain, for your learning,” study research leader Pooja Tandon told ABC News. Tandon is a pediatrician with the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

The study was based on the activities of nearly 9,000 children born in 2001, who were followed through kindergarten. Their mothers were interviewed about the amount of play their children received at the age of 9 months, 2 years and 4 years.

Child psychologist Rahil Briggs told HealthDay that the study is concerning, especially considering high obesity rates among children today. ”Parents need to change their thinking about outdoor play as a luxury that they can get in for their kids on a Saturday, to something along the lines of a necessity,” Briggs said. “We need to know that it has an important impact on our children’s physical health and also on their behavior development .”