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Safety fears keep children indoors

Parents want their children to play outside more but many do not even know where their nearest park or playground is, a poll has revealed.

And although many youngsters would rather ride a bike than play on a computer, one in four parents would prefer the opposite because of safety concerns, it also found.

The research, carried out by Savlon and Play England, polled 2,000 parents with children under 16 and 2,000 children between six and 15, in June.

It found 60% of parents want their children to play outside more but one in seven parents don't know where their nearest natural place such as a park or playground is.

And while 77% of children would rather ride a bike than play on a computer, one in four parents would prefer they play on a computer than climb a tree.

The research coincides with the launch of an online map to help parents find outdoor places for children to play.

The launch comes ahead of Playday, which takes place on Wednesday and aims to highlight the importance of play in children's lives.

The poll revealed that while many parents' fondest childhood memories are of playing with friends outside, the outdoor world seems out of reach for many children today.

One in five children have never played in fields and farmland and one in six have never played in woods and forests, compared to nearly 60% of adults who played there every week as children.

And while people often think children prefer indoor activities like computer games, when asked to choose between them and outdoor activities, many preferred to go outdoors.

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From Belfast Telegraph