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Relax, it's okay for your kids to run wild

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Summary

Risky play can actually be good for your child: BC Children's Hospital researcher

Child researcher suggests moms and dad take the bubble wrap off the little ones

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Chances are your kids will spend much of the next few months outside during summer and they might make you nervous along the way testing their limits. But to use a phrase from the Disney classic, The Lion King, ‘Hakuna Matata– it means no worries,’ risky play can actually be good for your child.

“Risky play is really important for all sorts of aspects of children’s development and health and well-being,” says Dr. Mariana Brussoni, an investigator with the BC research and injury prevention unit BC Children’s Hospital.

“It actually provides kids with opportunities to really figure out how the world works and how they can keep themselves safe, develop some of those risk management skills in situations that are relatively controlled.”

Brussoni uses examples of allowing kids to realize the need to slow down on slippery surfaces or recognizing when climbing a tree becomes too high for them.

With summer here, chances are you’ll be outside much more, and it’s much harder to keep yelling ‘safety first!’ at the park, the beach or wherever the days’ adventure takes you.

Brussoni suggests moms and dad take the bubble wrap off the little ones.

“Take a good look at their child and think about what their child is capable of and not just default and saying no to things. Giving their child the opportunity, they might be surprised what their child is capable of.”

Dr. Brussoni suggests it can be something as simple as waiting 30 seconds before saying anything to your child when they’re at the playground.