Saturday, October 08, 2005

Survey: Moms and Kids Want More Outdoor Play

(MF) - Think children enjoy staying inside with their television, computer and video games? Think again.

A recent survey shows that parents and kids alike feel that children should play outside more often, but most youngsters spend more time indoors than outdoors.

The "Neosporin 50 Years of Healing" survey found that 50 percent of moms say their children typically play outside fewer than five hours a week. The nationwide survey of moms also reveals that over half would prefer that their kids play outside the majority of the time and more than half of the respondents said their kids would also prefer to do the same—though less than one-quarter do.

So what is preventing outside playtime? One reason may be that kids are overscheduled in structured activities. Only 34 percent of mothers report that the activities most often engaged in by their child include unstructured outdoor play like bike riding or rollerblading. Another barrier to outdoor play is that moms worry their kids will get hurt.

"I want my kids to enjoy the outdoors more, but they usually want to climb trees or play roughly and I'm often afraid they'll get cuts or scrapes," said Melanie Tolan, a mother of three.

Moms can protect their kids by learning the "3 Cs of Wound Care" to treat minor injuries - Clean the wound with lukewarm water to remove germs and dirt; Coat the area with an antibiotic like Neosporin Antibiotic Ointment to prevent infection; and Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.

To help increase "fresh air time" for families, the makers of Neosporin products have developed "50 Ways to Play," a list of fun, safe outdoor activities that both moms and kids can enjoy.

Among the ideas are:
- Introduce kids to outdoor games you played as a child, such as Red Light Green Light or Kick the Can.
- Play dodgeball with a wet twist - instead of using balls, use water balloons. For an especially splashy game, be sure to fill the balloons up to the max!
- Invite neighborhood kids to compete in track and field events like relay races, sprints and long jumps. Try to race on grass if possible to avoid serious injury. More fun outdoor ideas can be found at


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