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Risky play can be good for kids: UBC study

(Courtesy Flickr: mzn37)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Are you often nervous your child may hurt themselves when they’re climbing trees, playing, or exploring independently?

Some new research shows that “risky” outdoor play helps much more than just kids’ physical health.

It also encourages creativity, resilience, and social skills, says Mariana Brussoni with UBC.

She says risky outdoor play can be running or biking really fast, playing at heights, playing with tools, or playing where there’s a chance of getting lost.

“They need to understand that part of how to keep their kids safe is by allowing them the risk-taking experiences so that they can develop their risk management skills and understand how the world and their body works.”

She adds the point is not to promote hazards, “but rather to keep risks… [so] they can recognize the danger for themselves, and they can make a decision as to whether they participate and how they participate.”

Brussoni would like to see governments not make decisions based on liabilities and schools recognize this kind of play is important for kids.