From The Telegraph on January 18, 2013 by Telegraph Reporters
Worried parents will ban their children from making snowmen and having snowball fights this winter – for fear they will catch a cold, a study found.
The protective one in five mums and dads, 20 per cent, will try to stop their youngsters falling ill by keeping them wrapped up warm indoors.
Furthermore, 29 per cent say it is “too dangerous” to let them outside because they may slip on ice or be bruised by a tightly-packed snowball.
That is despite many parents admitting they “enjoyed” playing outside when they were younger, the study by Chessington World of Adventures Resort found.
A stressed 20 per cent say they are “too tired” or “too busy” to supervise their children outside, so they find it easier to ban them completely.
As a result, one in five children now spends 60 hours a month in front of a screen – either watching TV, playing video games or on their mobile phone.
One in five mums and dads say they would not encourage their children to take part in activities they enjoyed themselves when they were younger.
That includes climbing trees, building dens, rope swinging and camping overnight in the garden, the poll of 1,000 people found.
Parents’ biggest concern is that their children will hurt themselves, with 35 per cent citing that as a fear.
The decline in adventurous outdoor play means just 9 per cent of children list it as a favourite activity, compared with 37 per cent who like video games.
More than a quarter, 26 per cent, prefer playing sport, 17 per cent playing with other children and 11 per cent playing “make believe”.
The adventurous activity parents would most like to try with their kids is an animal safari, at 24 per cent, the study found.
Chessington commissioned the research in advance of the March launch of its new, multi-million pound safari attraction, ZUFARI: Ride into Africa.
David Smith, General Manager at Chessington World of Adventures Resort said: “Building snowmen and throwing snowballs are activities children have been doing for years.
“Getting outside and having fun is all part of growing up so it is a shame many of today’s youngsters are not experiencing this fun as parents are scared they may catch a cold or get hurt.
“Whether it’s in the snow or in warmer temperatures, studies have shown playing outside is good for children’s health, is character building, and can also boost their confidence.”
He added: “Our study has shown most parents enjoyed these activities themselves when they were young, so hopefully the thrills of our new ZUFARI: Ride into Africa attraction will help families rediscover their adventurous side together.”