Medical Monday: kids can benefit from nature

CLEVELAND CLINIC - This summer, make sure you spend some time outside with your children. According to a recent study, connecting with nature can help our kids' brains. Doctors say it shows a positive connection between very young children and nature.

A new study shows a positive connection between very young children and nature. (MGN)

"What has been shown, is that kids who are able to spend more time outdoors and connect with nature, tend to be happier and better behaved," explained Dr. Kate Eshleman with Cleveland Clinic Children's.

Parents answered questions about how much their children enjoyed nature, whether they had empathy and responsibility toward nature, as well as their overall awareness of nature. Researchers found not only did kids who were more connected to nature have better moods and behavior, but they also showed less stress and had better social skills.

Doctors say having children spend more of their time outdoors offers many benefits for their overall health.

"There's dual benefit to spending more time outside. The first is increasing the physical activity, connecting with nature; being educated about things outside of a child's self. The other piece of that, is the more time a child is outside, the less time they're spending inside, in sedentary activities," said Dr. Eshleman.

Doctors remind parents that it's up to them to put necessary limits on screen time. Parents should also take time to model and encourage spending time outdoors.