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To not understand how it would be possible for a toddler to be active for LESS than 3 hours a day?

(49 Posts)
tory79 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:14:27

NHS guidelines are here

So an under 5 should be active for at least 3 hours a day, and this includes standing..... I look at ds who has just turned 2 and all the other toddlers I know, and I literally can't understand how a toddler could be active for less than 3 hours a day. Ds barely sits still for 5 minutes even when we're reading his favourite books. Even if we have a day in the house (rare!) he just.....moves.... A lot!

Are there toddlers out there getting less than 3 hours 'exercise' a day?

AndHarry Mon 30-Sep-13 14:53:48

That's pretty much what I thought when I read the guidelines but apparently an awful lot of small children spend their day strapped into a buggy being pushed around or strapped into a highchair/bumbo/jumperoo/buggy infront of the TV sad

Sirzy Mon 30-Sep-13 14:55:51

I can see how it happens with lots of time in cars and prams. So many parents have children who can't/won't walk anywhere.

Add in TV time and things and it happens easily.

It shouldn't though and being active for that long most days shouldn't be difficult at all at that age

mawbroon Mon 30-Sep-13 15:25:31

YABU DS1 didn't take his first steps until 20months. Up til that point, he was more than happy plonked on the floor playing with whatever he could reach.

Once he got on his feet, he was so cautious, he wouldn't climb or go up and down steps or the like. At the park or softplay, I used to have to chase him around just to get him moving, and lift him up and down stepsladders/slight inclines etc. He refused to walk anywhere for a long time, although getting a balance bike at 3.5yo made him more active.

I probably got judged for helicoptering and being PFB hmm

He's almost 8yo now and is as active as his peers, but it took a long time to get there.

BuskersCat Mon 30-Sep-13 15:27:52

DD is in her pushchair when we are out. So if we are out all day then she will probably be sat all day. But it's rare we go out at 7 am and get back at 7pm (I don't think it's ever happened) so in the 6 hours we are at home she's probably haring around the house!

Some toddlers do spend their time between a buggy, playpen and cot, getting very little chance to run around.

thebody Mon 30-Sep-13 15:30:04

god no it's quite commen. I work in a reception class and some if the children don't own wellies!! how can that happen?

we went in a walk to the local woods and some were knackered literally a few yards from the school.

some parents plonk kids in pushchairs to shop as it's easier than dealing with a walking toddler and then factor in TV time and meal times.

quite frightening really.

WhatHo Mon 30-Sep-13 15:33:31

Well, seeing as DD2 uses me as a human climbing frame even when supposedly quietly watching TV/drawing/trying to sleep, I think it's to remind people not to strap their toddlers in a pushchair all day as AndHarry says. Where I used to live, some mums would be out visiting but never let their wee ones stretch their legs as they wanted to chat and not be running around sad.

Personally, I would just like to sit on the sofa for 5 mins without wearing my 12kg, 18 month old as a hat.

WhatHo Mon 30-Sep-13 15:34:32

thebody city or country?

What I have 2 sofas. One is mine that he does not climb on unless its for cuddles or to chill out. The other he can jump amd play on. I got fed up of been climbed on.

Hes nearly 4 and doesn't stop moving

SummerRain Mon 30-Sep-13 15:44:01

I know a woman who used to drive to toddler group, take the buggy out of the car, strap the child into the buggy for the duration (even if he cried and wanted to get out) and then drove home. The same woman once expressed horror at the fact that I was going to walk from where were in town to the bank... a distance of 200m.

I've also known children who are strapped into highchairs for hours at a time, crawling babies strapped into carseats rather than be let crawl around. I know of at least 10 children who live within 500m of the school who are driven there and back daily.

People are idiots and babies and toddlers eventually learn to stop crying and just sit there sad

thebody Mon 30-Sep-13 15:46:47

large village surrounded by country parks and 10 miles from a big city.

hardboiledpossum Mon 30-Sep-13 15:52:32

I was confused when the health visitor asked me this. I got rid of the buggy at two and have replaced with a scooter and I have never had a play pen so couldn't see how this was possible.

SummerRain Mon 30-Sep-13 15:56:52

thebody, tbf I live in the back of beyond surrounded by fields and had to buy wellies for a school trip in June as mine wear snow boots in winter or sandals in summer so we never really use wellies. I had a pair for the youngest but the elder two didn't have any. I find them fairly useless as my children generally find mud that is deeper than the wellie if it's mucky grin Better to have them in plastic sandals and hose them off after!

thebody Mon 30-Sep-13 16:07:12

oh yes totally understand that Summer and see your points exactly.

I think it was more the fact that some if the children were knackered and whinged the whole walk.

WhatHo Mon 30-Sep-13 16:08:00

summer that is a form of child abuse IMO. It's basically forcing a child to allow their sense of play and exploration, not to mention their body, to atrophy. sad sad sad

tory79 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:15:49

Ugh that's so depressing. mawbroon I think that's a different situation as at least you're trying to get him to move! My ds is quite a cautious one too at times.

I remember now reading a report in the Times (so it must be true smile) a couple of years ago saying that there were reported cases of children starting school and not being able to walk, not because they had any problems, but just because they'd spent most of their lives parked in a buggy in front of the tv sad

insancerre Mon 30-Sep-13 16:20:38

I work with children aged from 2 to 4. Most of them are driven to nursery and if they are not then they are strapped into a pushchair. The ones that are driven are often carried in to the nursery without even having to put a foot on the ground.
And these are 2, 3 and 4 year olds, not babies.
I often see school age children being strapped into buggies to be wheeled home too.
I know of one child that couldn't walk at 2 1/2 because she spent her whole life in her pushchair. She ended up in foster care.
It is a big problem now- making sure children are physically active enough.
We have just devised a program of physical activities so that we can ensure that all children get enough physical exercise.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 30-Sep-13 16:23:44

DD was very inactive, like maw we had to do quite a lot to get her going! We certainly weren't preventing her from being active, and she wasn't interested in television particularly. She wasn't interested in anything much except people watching.

I find I have to watch DS' levels too, though he is a complete dynamo usually, purely because the school run + his nap now takes up quite a lot of his day, so if we haven't made it to the park or a playground I need to get out more active toys at home.

SummerRain Mon 30-Sep-13 16:24:04

WhatHo, it's scarily common... I used always wonder what the HV's meant when I apologised for the mess and they'd invariably respond 'Don't worry, we like to see mess... it's tidy houses that worry us'.

Then I went to the house of the woman who strapped her child in the buggy for toddler group. Every surface was gleaming, nothing out of place, show-home like. She has several children but they're not allowed to play in their rooms as they'll make a mess, they have a playroom but the mother walks around after them tidying up... to the point that the older children not only don't play with the toys themselves but frantically tidy up after guest children. She gave out to my son for 'drawing too hard' at her kitchen table because he might mark the wood hmm She just doesn't seem to be able to deal with the normal hustle and bustle of children playing, and the mess and chaos they create.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 30-Sep-13 16:27:06

Just to say DD is much more active now she's 4! It turns out she had an underlying health problem that wasn't dx for years, once that was sorted she had so much more energy and learnt to run.smile

MrsDeVere Mon 30-Sep-13 16:27:42

When my DS2 was little his day went like this
Get him up and put him in his high chair for breakfast
Strap him in his his car seat
He gets driven across town and put in a buggy
Pushed in his buggy for four hours or sat in a chair/bouncer.
Put in his car seat
Driven back across town
Gets fed by me in his high chair
Has a few short hours of free time before bed.

This went on for 18 mths. It happens to a lot of children in the care system. So the guidelines will not apply to them.

The system will not allow for it.

And it pees me right off.

But Its a bit off topic so I will stop ranting smile

hardboiledpossum Mon 30-Sep-13 16:29:07

that's do sad summer. My ds goes to a local pre school for children aged 2.5-4, I think practically every child arrives and leaves on their scooter.

WhatHo Mon 30-Sep-13 16:29:31

god summer stop. I'm about to get pitch-forky. Occasionally you get these threads on MN where someone goes 'I can't believe the amount of people on here who have cleaners, you are all so lazy getting some poor woman to do it for you" and I always think "better pay someone/have a dirty house than spend your entire time ignoring your kids so you can tidy up". I don't post tho, not a bun-fight type.

Though if I'm going to be charitable I guess she had something like OCD. Poor, poor kids.

MrsDeVere Mon 30-Sep-13 16:31:05

Mine don't have wellies.
I have bought loads in the past but they seem to grow out of them without using them.

I live in the city. Now we have a caravan you would think they would get more use but I find sturdy trainers just as useful. Wellies are a bit useless imo. They don't keep your feet warm and the water just goes in the top and collects grin

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