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Flip Flops, Mulch and No Coat: Study Identifies Surprising Barriers to Outdoor Activity for Kids in Child-Care Centers
Date:4/30/2008

First Phase of NHLBI-Sponsored Study on Children's Physical Activity in

Child Care Focuses on Child Care Providers' Perspectives; Cincinnati Children's Researchers to Present Findings at Pediatric Academic Societies

Annual Meeting

CINCINNATI, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when over half of US children (aged 3-6) are in child care centers, and growing concern over childhood obesity has led physicians to focus on whether children are getting enough physical activity, a new study of outdoor physical activity at child care centers, conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has identified some surprising reasons why the kids may be staying inside. The study, will be presented May 5 at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"It's things we never expected, from flip flops, mulch near the playground, children who come to child care without a coat on chilly days, to teachers talking or texting on cell phones while they were supposed to be supervising the children," according to Kristen Copeland, M.D., lead author of the study which was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She noted that because there are so many benefits of physical activity for children -- from prevention of obesity, to better concentration and development of gross motor skills -- it's important to know what barriers to physical activity may exist at child-care centers.

"With so many American preschool-aged children in child care centers, and previous reports that the amount of physical activity children get varies widely across different centers, we wanted to explore what some of the barriers to physical activity at these centers might be," said Dr. Copeland, a physician scientist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's. According to the most recent statistics 74% of US child
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SOURCE Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
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