As a child you were told that "the fresh air will do you good". It's important that we keep relaying this throughout our lives. But what's the mystery behind this quote (if any) and should we say it more often?
The winter chill is just about upon us. The outdoors resemble a golden pallet of colour, with leaves falling and trees becoming exposed. It's a time of year where we begin to encourage children to wrap-up warm and climatise to the changing weather to prepare for the darker, bitter, but not always gloomy nights.
As well all know, it can be a challenge to ensure children get enough time outside. Reaping the benefits of fresh air can often be a struggle, but we shouldn't bypass this just because of the autumnal weather. In fact, we should embrace it.
There are a myriad of health benefits for children who spend time playing outdoors as our previous blog posts have touched on. The intake of Vitamin D by getting outside is always a great benefit. Not to mention obesity reduction, socialising/playing and kids just be kids in general. All of which help children to lead a healthy, happy life.
According to the World Health Organisation, we spend around 90% of our time stuck indoors. That’s a really sad fact considering how much the outdoors has to offer and we really should be acting upon this. Fresh air cleans children's lungs, ridding them of impurities such as car fumes and dust, which playing outside will help clense.
In a home with poor air circulation, you might think the most obvious problem is that we are all breathing in and recycling each other’s breath. This could be a major factor in why the common cold spreads so much in winter. The truth? It’s not the recycling of other people’s air that’s the main problem. Without proper air circulation in your home, chemicals can build up and the air quality can be become very poor. Chemicals are released from all sorts of items, from cleaning sprays, to even the fire retardant coating on furnishings.
Stuffy air may cause the following:
- Sinus Discomfort
Good to know: Devices like computers and TVs give off positive ions, which are believed to contribute to irritability and bad moods, and bad moods can then go on to contribute to increased blood pressure and weight gain.
On the flip side of the above, there are lots of benefits to going outdoors:
- Fresh air will make children feel energised
- It can help them sleep better
- It can relieve the above stuffy symptoms
- Negative ions can help restore their mood
All the above is more than enough of a reason to get children playing outside more. But here's something you may find interesting if you children are 0-3 years old:
Adult lungs have 300 million air sacs. At birth your baby has 50 - 70 million air sacs but they are still not be fully developed. In the first 6 months of your child’s life, they develop a lot of air sacs very quickly. After 6 months, they develop more slowly. Your child’s lung volume - the amount of air their lungs can hold - increases a lot during the first two years of their life. By the time your child is 3, their lungs look like a mini version of adult lungs (Source: The British Lung Foundation). We must make sure children have the healthiest lungs possible!
Picture: The British Lung Foundation
So! What are you waiting for? Get the kids outside this autumn and make the most of the great outdoors! Just take extra caution if you're out at night and stay around as many lighted parks/areas as possible.
....... and yes, to conclude... "Fresh air will do you good".
Thanks for reading!
“Together, we’re better”