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Pram warning: Parents who exercise with prams could be hindering their child’s development

3AW Breakfast

Parents who strap their children into their prams while they exercise may be hampering their child’s motor skill development.

A new Deakin University study has found children who spend more time with their parents while they are exercising at age three and a half have less developed motor skills at age five.

The study also found nine month old children who spend more time outside have better motor skills at age five than those who don’t spend as much time outdoors.

Associate Professor Lisa Barnett from the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University said the exercising finding was surprising.

“We speculated that might depend on how the mother is interpreting physically active time with mum,” she said.

“So if they are out, perhaps with the pram, perhaps they’re being active but their child isn’t.

“I guess it could just be a caution to thinking: while I’m being physically active and that’s great, and my child needs to be safe, am I making sure through the rest of the day that they’re getting enough opportunity to move around?”

Ms Barnett said the best thing parents can do to improve their child’s motor skills is providing stimulating toys.

“Having equipment and toys available that they could use to help develop their motor skills made a difference at nearly all the different time points,” she said.

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Image: Cavan Images

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