The survey, carried out by Germolene Antiseptic Cream with 2,000 UK parents across three generations, found that not only are parents setting a bad example, but 43% of millennial parents are relying on technology with the children.
This could be the case of children spending nearly 11 hours every school week (almost 2 school days) glued to their smartphone or computer for fun. The findings reveal the youth of today are spending significantly less time enjoying the benefits of the great outdoors compared to their parents’ generation.
In fact, when describing their own childhoods, four in five parents (80%) said they used to play outdoors every day after school, compared to just over half (56%) of children today. And more than a fifth (22%) of parents said they don’t actively encourage their children to play outside, in part due to worries about their safety.
Almost all parents (95%) recognise the benefits of outdoor play to childhood development such as physical exercise, social interaction and cognitive skills and 72%believe that experiencing occasional cuts and grazes is important for childhood development. However nearly seven in 10 (69%) think the fear of getting hurt is causing many parents to wrap their children in cotton wool.
Commenting on the survey, Emma Kenny, Child Psychologist said: “Outdoor play is essential for childhood development. Although technology has a valuable role, it is important that parents actively encourage their children to explore and enjoy the great outdoors, even if that brings some bumps and scrapes along the way! Exposure to ‘healthy risk’, ie from falling off a bike or grazing a knee, is all part of growing up and it enables children to learn what their limits and strengths are and how to make decisions for themselves.”
The findings also reveal that today’s generation of offspring are not as au fait with important outdoor life skills as their parents:
· Less than a quarter (23%1) of children know how to repair a bike puncture, compared to 4 6%1 of parents
· Only one in five youngsters nowadays know how to light a camp fire compared to nearly a third (31%1) of their parents
· Less than a quarter (23%1) of children know how to provide basic first aid
Germolene’s Brand Manager, Bernadett Khan-Gonda says: “We really want parents to embrace outdoor play with their children. As technology becomes ever more prominent, it’s important to ensure we make the time for children to enjoy being children. Soaking up the fresh air, running for joy and in all likelihood tripping up along the way!
“In the event of a cut or graze, parents can be confident in turning to Germolene Antiseptic Cream, a medicine cabinet essential and family favourite for over 90 years – the dual action antiseptic, local anaesthetic and emollient softens the skin, helping to ease the pain from all manner of minor ailments and help prevent infection, leaving kids free to focus on the next climb or bike ride.”