when children are restricted from playing outside, tend to be more challenging for teachers as students have greater difficulty focus-
“All hard balls were banned, including footballs, soccer balls, baseballs and lacrosse balls.”
ing and behaving. The importance of recess seems to be lost on Port Washington school officials. The official press release stated that, “We appreciate the support of our community in our efforts to avoid injury in what is supposed to be a brief
Dana Ledereich, MA, OT/L is a pediatric occupational therapist in private practice in Brooklyn, NY. She evaluates and treats children age birth-13 years with sensory processing issues, poor handwriting, developmental concerns and neurological issues. She has lectured to both parents and professionals on various topics in sensory processing and handwriting development. She is available for lectures as well as to mentor new therapists. She can be reached at 718.252.2939.
the students. Instead of creating a more chaotic environment, the physical exercise stimulates better attention from the students. Students benefit from breaks to get up and stretch, do a few jumping jacks or walk around their desk a few times. Rainy or very cold days,
20 minute recess period.” But that “brief 20 minute recess period” is crucial to the academic performance of their students. So while district officials in Port Washington may be creating a safer environment with regards to possible ball or tag related injuries, they could potentially be increasing risk to their students’ health and academic experience.
RAISING OUR CHILDREN
Heart Association jointly issued a call for children to receive 60 minutes of physical exercise every day. This would greatly reduce the incidence of childhood obesity that plagues America today. But they also found that physicallyfit children have higher academic achievement, better ability to focus, better classroom behavior and overall better school attendance. In controlled studies, children who increased their physical activity through physical education class or other school-based physical activity either maintained or improved their scores on standardized tests, even though they received less classroom instruction than children in the control group. Regular breaks for physical ex-
ercise scattered intermittently throughout a classroom lesson can also have a positive effect on overall behavior and concentration of
Ledereich Continued from Page 13 ➙
RAISING OUR CHILDREN
MEDICINE TODAY HEALTHY LIVING H&L TECH
Published on Dec 9, 2013