“The act of simply kicking your kid out the door could be the best thing you could do for their health,” said Mark Fenton, a transportation engineer and public health consultant.
Fenton, speaking to a group of local officials at Marlborough Hospital for a kick-off for the “MetroWest Moves” health program last month, said one of the best things that could happen for children’s health is a return to the concept of “free-range kids.”
The term refers to the type of childhood that many adults remember, Fenton said, one where mothers would kick their children out the door on a Saturday morning and not see them again until the street lights came on and it was time to come home.
Fenton said that children who are able to go out and explore and make their own entertainment are inherently more active, often traveling everywhere by bike or on foot. Simply being outside, Fenton said, also naturally encourages physical activity.
Read more: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1222861112/Health-expert-says-children-need-more-unsupervised-play-time#ixzz201lfQSVX
This is not a new idea. Richard Louv wrote "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder". I wrote a review of the book in 2009 and you can find that here