Yesterday saw the launch of the South African Movement Guidelines for children aged 0 – 5 years.  South Africa is the first country in the Global South to launch movement behaviour guidelines for young children. These guidelines provide recommendations that can help put young children on the best trajectory for their growth, health and development.

During early childhood, there is a key window of opportunity to lay down a healthy foundation for a child’s lifelong well-being. Research tells us children’s’ physical activities and sleeping habits, have an impact on their growth – as well as on their cognitive, social and emotional development.

Some of the advice stemming from the guidelines include recommending that children from 0 to 5 years should participate in a range of play-based and structured physical activities that are appropriate for their age and ability, and that are fun and safe. Also highlighted in the guidelines is the importance of the quality of activities done when children are sitting. No screen time is recommended for children younger than 2 years.le of parents in children’s early development.

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