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Just let kids go play

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 06:00 am

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The warm summer weather is here, school is out and the world couldn’t be better for St. Albert, Morinville and Sturgeon kids.

Or could it?

While many of those kids are dreaming of racing their bikes around town, fishing at a local water body with buddies or kicking that soccer ball around, their parents or others with good intentions may have other plans. Lots of other plans. Perhaps, too many other plans.

A popular movement from south of the border has been making inroads into Canada recently, the “unstructured play” movement. As summer approached, many proponents of a “just let kids play and have fun” movement spoke up, including Mark Tremblay, chief scientific officer of Active Healthy Kids Canada.

Tremblay recently told CTV News, "We need to let (children) go play in the sandpit and run through the stream and get their shoes dirty and get grass stains on their knees. The beauty of that sort of freedom is there's limitless opportunity. It's only at the limits of the mind to create ... what can you do with yourself, what can you do chasing a frog. And every day, it can be a new adventure. It doesn't cost anything."

As studies continue to show obesity in children rising, perhaps some of the approaches parents and educators are taking don’t work. Sometimes the best solution is also the simplest – just let kids play.

Careful in parking lots

St Albert was home once again to a pedestrian accident in a parking lot over the weekend.

A pedestrian was struck and injured in a grocery store parking lot at Village Landing. The collision occurred Sunday afternoon, according to a shopper who showed up just after the collision occurred.

Parking lots should not be places of danger for pedestrians. Earlier this year an elderly woman was struck and killed in a McDonald’s parking lot; such incidents are completely avoidable if motorists would only take a few extra seconds to ensure safety.

The laws that pertain to the road also pertain to the parking lot. This includes obeying speed limits, using signal lights to make a turn, observing right-of-way and traffic lanes. Some motorists, unfortunately, use a typical parking lot like it’s their own personal NASCAR track, streaking across designated yellow-line parking areas, blowing through stop signs and speeding through clearly marked pedestrian crossings.

There’s a lot going on in parking lots – from people pushing grocery carts and carrying shopping items to narrow lanes, slow-moving cars and exuberant youngsters who may jump out from behind a parked car – all of which underscore the need to obey the rules of the road.


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