children and nature
These are the sad facts about today’s children. Fewer than one in ten of today’s chidren regularly play in wild places, compared to almost half of all adults when they were young. This has resulted in a disconnection with nature, as a recent National Trust survey revealed. It has found hat tody’s children are better able t recognise fictional characters, such as Doctor Who’s Daleks, than they are to identify some of our commonest wild creatures.
Staying indoors also has dire conseuences for their physical and mental health. Obesity levels have trebled in a decade, with half of all children predicted to be obese by 2050, while oher physical health problems are said to include short-sightedness, childhood asthma and a noticeable decline in children’s heart and lung fitness. One in eight boys and one in tn girls aged 11-17 have been diagnosed with a mental-health problem, while more than 40,000 British children are prescribed anti-depressants.
TVs and computers, mobile phones, and gaming machines are a symptom of the problem, rather than the cause. The two major barriers that stand in the way of todya’s parents allowing their children to roam free: traffic and ‘stranger danger’. Traffic is a very real problem. The number of children abducted by strangers is close to zero. We have been led to magine that the risk to our children is much higher than it actually is. Most child abductors and killers are related to their victim, and only a handful of cases involve complete strangers. More children are taken to hospital with injuries sustained from falling out of ved than from falling out of trees.
The advantages of allowing children the freedom to engage with nature far outweughs the costs. It is obvious that playing outdoors in natural environomens is good for children’s health, helping to reduce oesity and improve overall fitness. But that’s just the start.
Spending time in the natural world improves children’s mental health by reducing stress. It also encourages them to cooperate with one another – building a den is a great way to learn about teamwork. Most importantly, perhaps, it enables them to understand and judge risk. ‘How will children learn to run a small business in the future if they’ve never learnt to climb a tree?’ Lord Digby Jones observed.
The National Trust has launched ’50 things to do before your are 11 3/4′
Children are fascinated by the healing ability of herbs and plants, trees and shrubs. When I’ve led walks into the marshes or wild countryside, it is the children who more often ask awkward questions; and they border on the scientific every time.
Here at HERBACTIVE we treat all childhood conditions. We also have treatments for the most common childhood illnesses.
Take herbal health tonics on a rotational basis (see PROST)