This site is intended for health professionals only

Children "are not playing enough"

Children's health may be suffering because parents are not able to spend enough time playing with them, according to a poll for Play England.

Says director Adrian Voce: "Children and adults alike are telling us that the pressures of modern life are restricting their time and that this makes them unhappy.

"Play is vital for children's health, learning and development. Most importantly, play is fundamental to their enjoyment of childhood; it can't be taken for granted. All of us, not just parents, have a part to play in allowing and supporting children to play."

The survey found that three quarters of parents want more time to play with their children, while half said there are not enough places where children can play safely.

Children said that not being able to play makes them feel bored and unhappy, and that they are under pressures to do homework and extracurricular activities that take up too much of their free time.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Play England