Too Few Kids Getting Outdoors With Mom or Dad

Nearly half of all U.S. preschool-age children don't get outdoors at least once a day for parent-supervised playtime, researchers reported Monday, causing concern among experts who say early exercise habits could protect children from obesity later in life.

Many children might not be getting enough outdoor exercise because of barriers faced by single parents and families with two working parents, said Dr. Pooja Tandon, a pediatrician with the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute, who led the research.

It might also come down to a "cultural shift as to how families spend their time," Tandon said, citing the way parents tightly schedule their kids' play dates and classes while seemingly forgetting the value of free play and outdoor time. "There may be missed opportunities for kicking those kids outside the door when it's appropriate and safe."

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