Outdoor play spaces are influential components of the environments where young children live and learn. Irrespective of location, these settings possess a wide range of characteristics that may positively or negatively impact children’s development. Government agencies typically monitor the health, safety, and accessibility of children’s play areas found in public parks, restaurants, child care programs, and schools. Professional organizations and other agencies have sought to define the quality of children’s outdoor play environments through various means, such as publishing position statements, developing standards, offering accreditation, and creating evaluation instruments. The relationship between outdoor play and children’s health is substantiated by numerous research findings. For instance, outdoor play is considered a key factor in promoting cardiovascular fitness, building strong bones and muscles, curbing the effects of ...

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