Children First: Mud and dirt are beneficial to kids - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Mud and dirt are beneficial to kids

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Dirt, mud and bugs: three things most parents want their kids to stay clear of when playing outdoors.

A report by the National Wildlife Federation shows allowing kids to do gardening or make mud pies is actually good for them. That's because the report states it can lead to happy, healthy lives.

Studies by the Center for Disease Control show in the last 20-years as kids spent less time outside, childhood obesity rates more than doubled. Digging deeper, "indoor childhood" is being linked to a rise in allergies, an increase in ADHD medication and a spike in Vitamin D deficiency.

"Being inside those germs just continue to grow and depending on the climate mold just grows and grows but outside, it's so natural and it's good for the body, good for the soul" said Meredith Gednalski, a parent of two.

Dirt is also good for the brain.

"It just teaches them more about the substance that they're working with when they have the opportunity to be digging in it and playing in it," said Nicole Weiss, Director of the Child Development Center at Custer's YMCA.

Being outdoors also helps kids to focus and observe what's going on around them. 

So parents, experts say if you don't want to be a stick-in-the-mud just let your kid be a kid.

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