NSW Health is urging families to consider toys that encourage physical activity for children when selecting presents this Christmas.
Director of the Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, said active toys have a range of important health and lifestyle benefits.
“Active presents under the Christmas tree this year will not only help kids develop fundamental movement skills, they will also associate being active with having fun,” Dr Mitchell said.
”Balls, bikes, scooters, sports gear, sandpits, swing sets, and toys that push and pull are important for a child’s development and great gift options this festive season.”
Dr Mitchell said people are urged to consider active Christmas presents because of the high childhood obesity rate across Australia.
“One in four children in NSW is overweight or obese, so it should be front of mind for parents and families to encourage kids to be more physically active,” Dr Mitchell said.
“Giving at least one gift that requires some physical activity will encourage children to get moving.
“Parents can make it even more fun by joining in the activities and spending extra time with their kids.”
Dr Mitchell reminded families to make sure active presents are packaged alongside appropriate protective gear like helmets or elbow and knee pads.
“That warning also applies to adults who have a role to play as positive role models who can show their kids the fun and safe way of staying fit and active,” she said.
“We don’t want anyone, young or old, to spend their Christmas break nursing an injury that could have been avoided when testing out a new toy.”