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Your Views: After-school activities help keep children healthy, safe

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March 5, 2014

What is your child doing from 3 to 5 p.m.? Sitting home playing video games while drinking soda and eating lots of snacks? Spending time with the “wrong” people? It has been shown that children who participate in after-school activities like sports for two or more years have significantly lower odds of being at risk for obesity compared to children who don’t participate in after-school sports.

So what does this mean? Get your child involved! Not only will participating in an after- school sport decrease the risk of obesity, it will keep your child busy while you’re working. This also helps decrease your child’s risks of being involved with drugs and alcohol.

As stated on the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville’s website, “Every day at 3 p.m., many of our young people lack meaningful and safe things to do after school. Research shows youth-related crime nationwide doubles between 3 and 8 p.m. every weekday.”

Also, stated on the Afterschool Alliance website, “Teens who do not participate in after- school programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes. They are also three times more likely to use drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity.”

As a parent, ask your child’s school what different activities he/she can be involved in or what some of the local programs in Janesville are. So now I ask you, are you going to keep your child healthy and safe?

KAITLYN TEAL

Milton



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