Nature...Just What the Doctor Ordered!
Children's Rx for Nature
The goal: to implement an awareness campaign targeting health care professionals (HCP) that effectively communicates the documented mental and physical health benefits of children spending time in nature
- Communicate/incorporate nature into treatment plans and well child visits
- Continue to update HCP on resources, research, results and trends
- Create a program that can be replicated in other communities to ensure that children play in nature for optimal health
A white paper was developed and distributed to local doctors highlighting research on the positive impact nature has on mental and physical health.
Local healthcare professionals (HCP) signed on to be part of the program. They agreed to write prescriptions for nature and incorporate information about unstructured outdoor nature play with patients as:
- a compliment to current treatment plans
- a preventative measure
- an important part of healthy development and lifestyle
The program is supported in the doctor's office through posters and brochures containing information on the benefits of spending time in nature. Tip cards were developed containing information on County parks and things to do outside. The tip cards are given to parents along with a brochure explaining the benefits.
Studies show that time spent engaged in outdoor play can improve children's health on every level...Mind, Body and Spirit.
- Reduces stress
- Improves concentration
- Enhances problem solving
- Develops social skills
- Cultivates imagination & creativity
- Increases capacity to learn
- Boosts confidence & resilience
- Reduces obesity & related illnesses
- Promotes sleep
- Improves brain function
- Builds strong muscles & bones
- Increases vitamin D levels
- Strengthens bonds with family & caregivers
- Creates memories through shared outdoor experiences
- Reduces distractions from the digital world
- Builds a sense of trust & confidence
Special thanks to Dayton Children's Hospital, Miami County Public Health and UVMC/Premier Health.