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Outdoor Play and Allergy Immunity

Posted by May Recreation Content Team on April 9, 2018

Now there are more reasons than ever to encourage your kids to play outside all year round. Did you know that outdoor play boosts your child’s allergy immunity? It’s true! Find out why being in the outdoors is such a great idea, particularly for children who suffer from allergies.

The Earlier the Better

Studies have shown that children who grow up in rural areas, where they are more likely to be exposed to the outdoors on a daily basis, have fewer allergies than kids who play primarily indoors in an urban or suburban environment. In fact, the younger your kids are when you start encouraging outdoor play, the more immunities they will build up.

Effects Last a Lifetime

When your children build up those immunities, the effects last a lifetime. Over the course of their lives, kids who actively play outdoors on a routine basis are less likely to suffer from colds, less likely to get sick in general, and less likely to exhibit symptoms of allergies, even as an adult! Encouraging your kids to play on outdoor play equipment now is like giving them a gift of health that will last a lifetime!

Why Outdoor Play Builds up Immunity

The body is always working to protect itself. Allergy symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that you’ve been exposed to something foreign — something it has not encountered before. In the case of allergies, that “something” might be pet dander, pollen or ragweed. But when your kids start playing outdoors at a young age, they will be exposed to these things much earlier. Their bodies will be able to recognize the substances and will begin building up immunity to them. The immunity gets stronger year after year, which is why the effects last a lifetime.

Exercise Helps Build Immunity, Too

When your kids exercise, their bodies become stronger and healthier, which also helps to build immunity. An active body will operate better than one that is just sitting around all day in front of a computer screen. Active kids get sick less often, and they recover faster than kids who lead a more passive lifestyle.

What Kind of Outdoor Play is Best?

Any kind of outdoor play will help your kids to build up an allergy immunity. But the best kind of outdoor play involves plenty of activity. While sitting on the ground drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk is entertaining, it doesn’t exercise the body like some other forms of outdoor play. For best results, choose outdoor play for your kids that involves all the muscle groups. Outdoor playsets with things like slides, monkey bars, swings and obstacle courses enable lots of different muscle movement that will build strength and help to build your child’s allergy immunities.

How Long Should Kids Play Outdoors Each Day?

Since kids should play outdoors all year round, the length of time spent outdoors will vary according to weather conditions. Never force your child to spend more time outside than they are comfortable with. They may become overheated or too chilly to fully enjoy being outside.

The best thing you can do is lead by example. When you, as a parent, also enjoy the outdoors, your child will learn to appreciate all that outdoor play can offer. For more information about outdoor play equipment and all the available features, contact us today.

Topics: Play & Fitness

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