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NWF Green Hour

Commentary on what parents should know about and can do to counteract common "nature deficit disorders" in our TV-watching, video game-playing children including encouraging a daily "Green Hour" of outside play and learning. A program of the National Wildlife Federation

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Green Lining for the ADHD Black Box?

There is huge public debate about whether “black box” side-effect warnings should go on ADHD drug labels.

Keeping our children healthy, happy, peaceful and productive may, first and foremost, require a much more serious look at how they are spending their time. They are indoors more than any previous generation. Ask any adult about their childhood outdoor experiences and they will tell you about endless hours spent running through backyards, front yards, tree-line streets, neighborhoods, local parks or local woods. But things are much different now.

No direct relationship between the amount of time kids spend staring at electronic screens and an increase in ADHD symptoms has ever been established by scientists. But, when we think of how 2.5 million children are now using medications to reduce symptoms, there may be a “greener” part of the solution. In 2004, researchers at the University of Illinois found that “exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children.” Co-authors Frances E. Kuo and Andrea Faber Taylor recommend that children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) spend some quality after-school hours and weekend time outdoors enjoying nature. See Article: ADHD Curbed When Kids Play Outdoors

Photo from ADHD Information Library

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