Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let My Children Free

Not really corrections sentencing directly, but yet another example of how, when we turn into a nation of such big loser fraidy-cats afraid of every boogeyman out there, we end up doing as much or more harm than we think we’re avoiding. Sound like a policy area we can speak of here?

Youngsters who are allowed to leave the house without an adult are more active and enjoy a richer social life than those who are constantly supervised, according to a study conducted at UCL.
Professor Mackett says: "We asked children whether they were allowed out without an adult and then looked at where they go and how they behave. In general, children who aren't constantly supervised tend to leave the house more often -- exploring their surroundings, playing with other children and using up more calories than their sedentary, house-bound peers."
Professor Mackett goes on to say: "Fears over road safety and 'stranger danger' need to be balanced against soaring levels of childhood obesity and poor health. Letting a child out to play is one of the best things a parent can do for their child's physical health and personal development.

"Allowing children to leave the house without an accompanying adult has significant benefits, but we need to design and build environments that children feel comfortable in and that parents feel confident to let them use on their own. The health benefits are clear, but without action the less tangible benefits of increased independence, self-reliance and general 'growing up' are in danger of being lost."

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