Are summer vacations dangerous for our children’s health? Discover the worrying results of a study

IN SHORT

  • Summer vacation
  • children’s health
  • worrying study
  • dangerous results

Summer vacation, a time long awaited by children, can sometimes pose risks to their health. A revealing study points out the potential dangers to which our young people are exposed during this leisure period. Let’s dive into the alarming findings of this research together.

Children’s summer habits under the microscope

Since July 5, all students have officially been on summer vacation. This period of rest long awaited by children and their families, however, involves challenges that are sometimes underestimated. While we often think about swimming, applying sunscreen and relaxing, the reality is often more nuanced. According to a study from the University of South Australia published in the international journal Children, THE summer holidays frequently result in increased exposure to screens and an sedentary lifestyle marked.

A problematic sedentary lifestyle

The researchers analyzed the behaviors of 14 million schoolchildren aged 5 to 18 and noticed a worrying trend: during the summer holidays, young people spend more time indoors and in front of screens. These changes in behavior result in deterioration of their physical condition and an weight gain. It is worrying to note a notable decline in physical endurance. At the start of the school year, children often struggle to regain their initial level of fitness, observed at the end of the school year.

Consequences on learning

In addition to the physical effects, the summer break has impact on learning abilities children. The break with the rhythm and school demands leads to a certain disconnection, resulting in a drop in academic performance at the start of the school year.

The role of lifestyle and eating habits

During this period, schoolchildren often adopt less healthy eating behaviors, increasing consumption of junk food. Emily Eglitis, lead author of the study, points out that the combination of these factors has significant negative impacts on health, particularly among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Recommendations for adapted physical activity

Encouraging children to stay active during the holidays is essential to maintaining good health. Here are the recommendations from ANSES (National Food Safety Agency) based on age:

  • For children under 5 years old:
    It is recommended to practice three hours of physical activity per day. Encourage play and fun through varied activities such as walking, running, jumping, throwing and balancing.
  • For children aged 6 to 11:
    One hour of moderate to high intensity physical activity is recommended daily.
  • For adolescents aged 12 to 17:
    Practicing an hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day is essential. Activities should challenge muscles and improve endurance and flexibility. Activities such as gymnastics, climbing, dancing and ball games are recommended. Adolescents should be encouraged to choose activities that they enjoy, whether they are done with friends, in a club or with family.

In conclusion, although summer vacations are an opportunity to rest and enjoy time with family, it is crucial to remain vigilant regarding the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. A balance between relaxation and physical activity is essential to guarantee the health and well-being of our children.