About half of America's preschool-aged children are not getting a daily dose of parentally supervised outdoor playtime, a new study reveals.

Analyzing data on nearly 9,000 children collected in a long-term U.S. study, researchers found that much of the nation's youth, especially young girls, aren't engaging in routine outdoor physical activities.

"Though many of us may assume that young children spend some time outdoors every day, there's considerable room for improvement in how often parents take their children outside to play," said study lead author Dr. Pooja Tandon, a pediatrician and researcher with the Seattle Children's Research Institute.

"This study highlights something we already know from other studies, which is that girls in particular seem to have fewer opportunities for outdoor play than boys. We have to try to support girls in the same way we encourage boys to be active and to play outdoors," he said.

The findings appear online in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Race seemed to play a role, with children from white families getting substantially more outdoor play than those with Asian, black or Hispanic mothers. Specifically, Asian mothers were 49 percent less likely to take their children outdoors for play, black mothers were 41 percent less likely and Hispanic mothers were 20 percent less likely. -- HealthDay

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