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HHS HealthBeat (February 13, 2012)

How much fun is safe

A child holds a frog in his hands
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Kids want to test themselves. Their caregivers want them not to get hurt. Sometimes those goals conflict. Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center heard about that in focus groups with about 50 child care providers from 34 centers. Researcher Kristen Copeland says that, while child care providers liked things like climbing equipment to be safe, safe wasn’t always fun:

“The climbers, while they may be interesting at first, later on children tended to explore other things on the playground – the open space, the natural aspects, digging in the mulch.”  (10 seconds)

Copeland thinks preschoolers may get longer benefit from balls, trikes, and learning to skip.

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: February 13, 2012