Thursday, 7 February 2013

Are we producing a culture of buggy children??

                         3 year olds left unable to walk after too much time in buggies

An interesting article in the Sunday Times last week has caused quite a stir with parents. Louise Casey, David Cameron's chief adviser on problem families has claimed that some 3 year olds in the UK are unable to walk because they spend too much time in their buggies and left in front of the television.

However, her claims have come after she was "told" of the 3 year old being unable to walk by a headteacher in the north of England. So, is the hearsay of one Head teachers opinion really a reason to generalise this in her comments, or is there some truth in what she claims??

I admit, my 2 year old still goes in a pushchair, generally if we are going on a longer walk or it is raining.(She hasn't grasped the idea of holding an umbrella as to yet!) But I do try to make sure she walks on shorter journeys and places where she can have a run about, such as the park. There are many children with physical disabilities out there who need to be in a pushchair to get around and there are a whole range of reasons as to why a 3 year old could be in a buggy.

I am not saying that there are not the odd few parents who use buggies very regularly with their 3 and 4 year olds, life is a lot quicker in pace these days and if you don't drive and need to be somewhere quickly, a buggy is sometimes easier. I am not saying that I condone prolonged use of pushchairs, but just trying to give some reasons as to why they may be used with this age.

There are so many other ways a child can be exercised. Just because they are in a pushchair when out walking, it doesn't mean they are necessarily missing out on other forms of exercise elsewhere. They may have been in their garden at home on their bikes or been climbing in a play area.

It is important for our toddlers to walk, nit only for their health but for their emotional well being. I have never wanted my daughter to feel restricted by a pushchair and I like her to prefer to walk somewhere, if possible. It allows her a sense of freedom too, that she can get somewhere under her own steam rather than being pushed.
It is an interesting topic. What do you think? Is Mrs Casey overgeneralising or in your view is it true?

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