When should children be allowed onto Facebook? The site says it only accepts users over the age of 13. New research published this week by Internet security giant McAfee and the Anti-Bullying Alliance says that most children use the Internet away from their parents' watchful eyes (which I can quite understand).
Without really noticing we've been heading towards the end of the traditional outdoors childhood. Something that many millions of adults took for granted is becoming the exception rather than the norm for today's children, where-ever they live. Roaming ranges are down, physical activity is down and the ability of children to identify common wildlife is being lost.
These three million children are not just growing up in material poverty, but in environmental poverty. They can not afford nature... Children growing up in deprived areas are more likely to be underweight at birth, and obese in their teens. They are at much greater risk from accidental injury in the home and tend to perform worse at school.
In a new report the British Heart Foundation revealed that 80% of children are not eating the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day. Half eat chocolates, sweets and fizzy drinks each day. Combine that with the fact that the majority of children do not get the recommended hour of exercise per day, and you've got a perfect recipe for childhood obesity, chronic heart disease and early death.
Playing outdoors is good for children. It makes for happy, healthy kids. Yet still we persist in letting them stay indoors. We're scared to let them play anywhere other than their bedroom or the garden, where we can keep a keen watch over them. My mother roamed in about 50 square miles. I roamed in one square mile. My two children are free to roam just in 18 square yards.