America’s top doctors say pediatricians should prescribe more playtime to children. Yes, prescribe!

In a new report published today, titled The Power Of Play, the American Academy of Pediatrics said there is clear evidence that playing around is key for development – whether it’s with friends or with their parents.

The authors say the report is much needed, since the amount of time kids spend playing has plummeted in the last two decades.

Compared to kids of the 80s, today’s kids under 11 have far less free time – 12 fewer hours a week – and 30 percent of school children spend their breaks indoors.

‘There is a whole section of our report that talks about the importance of play in preschool settings and how important it is to find a balance of playful learning with the more traditional curriculum,’ lead author Dr Michael Yogman of Mount Auburn Hospital told WBZ-TV.

‘Some people say play is a waste of time. Well it’s not a waste of time.’

The authors explain that childhood is a crucial moment of developing key skills that will impact a person for the rest of their life.

These include social-emotional skills, cognitive development, language, and self-regulation, which are crucial to being a sensitive, intelligent and independent person.

Playing with parents adds another dynamic: it is key to building a trusting relationship between parent and child.

The APP say their demand for prescribed play may be the only thing that ensures kids get free time.

Writing a prescription will at least impact on parents how important it really is!

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  • I don’t know what her financial situation is either, but I’m quite certain that even those of us in financial difficulty wouldn’t be offering an amount as ridiculous as that.
    Offering “pocket money” to do this job is appalling.
    So what does she expect, get a bunch of 10 year olds to help?


  • Sadly some people use their TV or other devices as babysitters rater than organise for them to learn to play with each other or learn to play alone, A know a lady who was a physcologist at a large hospital who told us that some parents won’t even walk to the end of their short street to take their children to kindy so they have huge problems interacting with others and develop mental health, developmental and behaviour problems


  • It does sound strange to prescribe but if it works then that’s great.


  • I don’t think it’s that strange. Sometimes Doctors have to prescribe simple natural things in order for their patients to do them, for example rest or relaxation and take a holiday or more exercise. These are all things that are common sense to many, but some have never been taught. It is indeed a form of educating and many people could do with a parental course about kids, food, hygiene, health, exercise, and many more topics.


  • It’s a little sad when GP’s need to prescribe play.


  • Oh my god ,this is all I can say.


  • Gps need to be willing to have the tough conversations with people about their health.


  • Really? I think a better idea would be to enforce parenting classes before people have children so that they have a better idea of what constitutes parental responsibilities.


  • We have come a very sorry state if we need gp’s to prescribe play for our kids.


  • Be a big kid and get out and play with your kids. It’s good it get out and about


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