Infants and children need daily physical activity because it:
- supports brain development
- builds strong muscles, joints and bones
- improves coordination, balance and flexibility
- helps them reach and keep a healthy weight
- increases relaxation and improves sleep
- increases confidence, happiness and their social skills
- Makes them learn better at school.
Your child can get enough exercise with every day, unstructured activities such as walking, running, jumping, chasing about, riding bikes, climbing trees or using playground equipment. Encourage them to move more and sit less.
- From birth to one year babies should have some physical activity, especially supervised floor play in a safe environment. While awake, infants should not be restrained or kept inactive for more than an hour
- toddlers and children aged one to five years should be physically active for at least three hours a day
- kids aged 5 to 17 should have at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, and should participate in activities that strengthen their muscles and bones at least three days a week.
The Department of Health recommends that children under two should not watch television or use electronic media. For older children, limit the time spent looking at television, playing with tablets or other digital devices to:
- less than one hour a day for children aged two to five years
- less than two hours a day for children aged five to twelve years.
Let your kids play, locking them up and buying them tablets and phones at three is not “ajebota” .
Contributed By: Chisom Nwobodo