ITASCA, IL--During Kids to Parks Day (the third Saturday in May), May 20, and Mental Health Awareness Month (May), the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to take kids to parks because outdoor play is linked to health, lower stress, and greater mental wellbeing among children. The AAP offers these tips to help parents make plans to get outdoors as the upcoming Memorial Day holiday kicks off summer fun.
“Whether it’s sunny or snowing, playing outside is good for children, physically and mentally,” said pediatrician Monique Jonae Soileau-Burke, MD FAAP, President, Maryland Chapter, AAP. “Scientific evidence tells us that playing outdoors can improve health, and children love it. On Kids to Parks Day, we encourage families to make plans to get their children out into nature for summer fun and wellbeing. Consider visiting a national, state or local park.”
Getting outside is more than a fun break for children. Stress and depression are lower for all people who spend time in nature. Your children can get a physical and emotional boost from playing. Here are some tips on the all-ages fun to be had on Kids to Parks Day:
Take advantage of the healing power of play in nature—near your home or neighborhood, at a local or city park, or drive to an outdoor space that is a true national treasure. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather, consider sunscreen and bug spray, and use protective equipment for sports, like bike helmets.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.