Help your toddler get active

Toddlers need three hours exercise a day, say experts

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Parents are being advised to give their toddlers at least three hours of exercise a day as part of a government anti-obesity drive.

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Under- fives should be encouraged to walk on trips to nursery or the shops and babies should be given the opportunity to kick around on their play gyms say the guidelines issued.

By 2050, it’s predicted that almost two-thirds of children could be too heavy for their height and British children have been shown in studies to be amongst the worst.

The advice issued by England’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies follows research linking early exercise to physical and mental health and aims to get children out of car seats and buggies and on their feet.

‘Play that allows under-fives to move around is critical and three hours a day is essential. I think there are parents who are not aware how important it is for their children to be physically active. Other parents are very busy and may not see how important it is to get that prioritisation and balance right,’ said Dame Sally.

Suggested activities include activities that make them ‘huff and puff’ such as running, playing chase, swimming, skipping, riding a bike and scaling a climbing frame. Babies should stretch and roll on activity mats and be taken swimming.

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What do you think? Does your toddler get enough exercise or do you struggle to find the opportunity?

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