The numbers are staggering, if not downright depressing: 17 percent of America’s children are obese (Centers for Disease Control); nearly 1 in 3 are at least overweight if not obese (American Heart Association); today’s children are four times less active than their grandparents were (American Academy of Pediatrics), and childhood obesity has become the top health concern among U.S. parents (AHA).
The lack of activity and exercise is “troubling and calls for some parental intervention,” the AAP says.
Dr. Michael Omidi, co-founder of The Children’s Obesity Fund, has been even more emphatic: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that the lack of physical exercise in children is the main culprit in the startling rise of childhood obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and all other types of preventable medical conditions.”
The CDC says the lack of safe, appealing places for kids to play is a big problem nationwide. The challenge is made worse in the winter months when much of the country suffers rain, snow, sleet and cold temperatures.
One response by communities, cities and schools alike has been to install synthetic grass like NewGrass® to help children be active year-round, regardless of the weather. A play area covered with NewGrass® is usable even after a snowfall, because it’s installed in a way that lets water simply drain through.
Sand and wood chips as play area groundcover may create cushioned surfaces. But in they’re unusable after a snowfall or heavy rain. Turf grass meanwhile dies in the winter, leaving play areas hard at best, and muddy or frozen at worst.
“We’ve seen parks and playgrounds that have NewGrass® installed provide safe and accessible surfaces for kids to play on day after day, all year round,” says Gregory Goehner, president of NewGrass, the artificial grass of choice when water conservation and being environmentally and eco-friendly are as important as having more green lawn to enjoy in any season. “We are proud to play at least a small part in increasing the level of physical activity among our youth.”