Strapping kids in!

Eric Jensen’s book Teaching with the Brain in Mind says that the average 2 year old has spent over 500 hours strapped in a car seat! In 1960 the average 2 year old spent just about 200 hours in a car… When I read this, I immediately went back to 1960 (I was just 5 years old).  I thought the backseat of my Dad’s Plymouth was my playroom. Granted there were no seatbelts and I would kneel on the seat gazing out the back window watching the sites go by. Sometimes I’d snuggle up with one of Aunt Ina’s afghans (she must have made a thousand, as we had one in every room of the house!) and nap for the ride up north. Often Barbie and Ken were my playmates as I kneeled on the floor and danced them around the back seat. I’m not saying that travel should revert back to the old days. I’m posting this because I feel strongly that 500 hours of being strapped in needs to be counteracted by movement, outdoor play and gross motor activity.  If you are a parent, aunt, grandparent or caregiver, take the challenge to counteract this sedentary behavior. If the child is an infant, massage their legs, arms, roll them and orient them to the fun that tummy time can bring!  If they are mobile, have them walk, crawl, roll, tumble or squat. Foster their imaginations by walking like animals, climbing mountains of couch cushions or ascending the steps of a kid size slide. Another point to consider is that car seats or being strapped in doesn’t end at two. How many more hours in the car of going to piano lessons, play group or what have you are children held captive.  I want kids safe but I also feel that if we can combat the effects of strapping in, then our kids will be more likely to be active and enjoy their body and all it can do!

Child held in a car seat by a five point harness

Child held in a car seat by a five point harness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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