Movement guidelines for children aged 4 and under

Yesterday, the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years were released. Published by Participaction, the recommendations are based on the latest scientific evidence and include the ideal amounts of physical activity, sitting, and sleep for children aged four and under.

The framework is divided into three, with specific guidelines for infants (under a year old), toddlers (1 to 2), and preschoolers (3 to 4).

Even infants who aren’t mobile require regular physical activity. The benefits of tummy time are well established.

Toddlers and preschoolers should be getting at least three hours of physical activity, and for the older kids at least 60 minutes should be energetic play at a high intensity.

The guidelines also provide recommendations on the amount of sleep young children should be getting, as well as strong direction on maximum amounts of sedentary time. Toddlers and preschoolers, for example, should not be restrained in a stroller for more than an hour at a time.

The guidelines were developed by a number of organizations and researchers from Canada and around the world, including:

In combination with the screen time guidelines for children of the same age group, developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society, these new movement guidelines provide parents with a clear map to making sure their young children have every chance to develop into healthy, active older kids.

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