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PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2018 


A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: gaps cited in protections for small-business employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.

Daily Newscasts

"Be Out There" for IL Kids: One Hour A Day Outside

June 15, 2009

Chicago, IL – Chasing butterflies, playing cowboys and Indians, and just wandering around outside for at least an hour a day; that's the prescription from the National Wildlife Federation(NWF) this summer for Illinois children who may be experiencing "nature deficit disorder" because they spend so little time outdoors, compared to children of a generation ago.

Kevin Coyle, the NWF vice president for education and training, says the digital age is one reason kids spend more time inside, with some studies showing children spend six hours a day in front of a TV or video screen.

"By not getting outside, they're not engaging in relaxation, relating to other kids, just getting some exercise. We're really seeing that American childhood has moved indoors."

NWF is coordinating the "Be Out There" campaign to help raise awareness of the lack of outdoors time for kids, and Coyle points to progress with the introduction of a bill in Congress called the "No Child Left Inside Act" which would fund environmental education outdoor programs. He says there are other ways to help expand outdoor time for kids, too.

"Increasing the amount of focus in day care centers on outdoor time for children, returning recess to schools; those are two good ways."

He says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made a link between less outdoor time and increased childhood obesity rates.

Coyle says another reason children spend more time indoors is because parents are concerned about safety. He suggests scheduling outings to playgrounds and group outdoor play dates to help alleviate fears about child abductions, and he points out that stranger abductions are rare – though when they do happen, they make top news stories which can distort the real risk.

Information on outdoor activities is at www.nwf.org

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL