Recess is Necessary, Says AAP

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By Brian Braiker
The American Academy of Pediatrics can come off as, well, a little strict. No screentime before the age of 2! Bouncy castles are too dangerous!

But what's this? The AAP has come out with a new policy statement declaring recess a "necessary break from the demands of school."

That's right: recess! Bring it on!

Plus: Do Girls Get Enough Exercise?

Published in this month's issue of Pediatrics, "The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools" concludes that safe and supervised recess "offers children cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits. It should be used as a complement to physical education classes, not a substitute, and whether it's spent indoors or outdoors, recess should provide free, unstructured play or activity."

Kids, it gets better. The AAP also explicitly declares that recess should never be withheld as punishment because it can negatively affect academic performance and social development.

Plus: Why Kids Need Recess and Exercise

But what of all those injuries children incur running around during unstructured play time? Lest you think the AAP has gotten dangerously reckless, fear not! In the same issue of Pediatrics, the academy emphasizes the importance of school physicians.

"School physicians can bring valuable health services to a school and can prevent potential district liability issues by implementing concussion management programs, and recommending climate safety standards for outdoor activity and emergency response procedures," the AAP said in a statement.

So play on, little ones. It's time for recess.

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