Playtime vital in age of 'tablet tiny tots' - Councillor warns

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

A Braid councillor has highlighted the importance of outdoor play and exercise for children in today’s ‘digital society’.

Recently elected DUP representative Julie Frew was speaking in support of a Council motion extolling the benefits of local playparks and open spaces.

Voted on by members at the recent monthly meeting, the motion was proposed by Councillor Gregg McKeen and seconded by Councillor Julie Frew.

Councillor Gregg McKeen, said: “Play and outdoor activities are beneficial for all children and it helps them to learn and stimulate their minds.

“The ability to play also benefits their self-esteem, their emotional wellbeing and has long lasting effects into their adult life.

“We all have memories of happy times in parks and doing recreational activities and that is what we want for the youth of today.

“We can also improve the play provision and accessibility across the borough with play equipment that is inclusive so children of all abilities can enjoy.

“Play is fun and it should be available to everyone, everywhere”

TABLETS

Councillor Frew added: “I second this motion because it is a vital contribution to the health and wellbeing of community.

“The use of tablets today is becoming more common but it is so important to encounter adventurous play outside.

“This allows children to build bonds and memories other than in the home.

“Playparks are one of the few places you can visit free of charge and all children can attend. It is somewhere where you do not have to make the grade in any way and can have as much fun as you can create.”

Councillor Danny Donnelly put forward an amendment to the motion which was accepted by the chamber.

STANDARDS

With this in mind, Council will adopt a strategy and policy to ensure the playparks in the borough meet the highest standards within resources.

There will also be an emphasis on equipment for children with disabilities across playparks and to provide Changing Places standard toileting facilities for people with complex needs at Destination Parks.

This will recognise that everyone has an equal opportunity to play and take part in facilities provided by the Council.

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