Countertops and stone coat counter tops have been the most popular options for kids to play on the playground, and the newest technology is making them more appealing to parents.
According to a new survey by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), children aged 3-9 have become more interested in playing on stone coat counters than countertops.
And it’s not just kids.
In addition to children aged 9-11, the survey found that 3-6-year-olds were more interested than those aged 5-10 in playing with countertops, while 6-9-year olds and 10-14-year old children were more likely to prefer countertops than stone coat ones.
The results are based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 children from grades 3 to 9.
The survey found the prevalence of the three types of countertops and stones varied depending on the gender of the child, and that the prevalence was highest for boys, the youngest age group in the survey.
Stone coat countertop vs. countertops: What you need to know.
The new research also found that the children most likely to play with countertop or stone coat were those with ADHD or a family history of the disorder.
“Parents with ADHD, or children with a family or developmental history of ADHD, are at increased risk for developing behavioral and emotional difficulties as children grow older,” said Dr. John T. Darnell, director of the NIH’s National Center for Research Resources and Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
“Children with a history of behavioral and physical problems are also at increased risks for developing ADHD, as are children with family history or a history with ADHD.”
According to the CDC, about a quarter of children in the United States have a history or diagnosis of ADHD.
There are several other factors that can cause a child to play rough on the floor, including a family’s history of violence, substance abuse or mental health problems, and poor communication skills.
“While there is a range of factors that contribute to children’s willingness to play in a rough setting, parents who are not actively involved with their children’s physical or mental development are at higher risk of having children play rough,” said Raul E. Rodriguez, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author of the study.
For example, children who live in households with two parents or more are more likely than other children to play unevenly.
“Teens with a single parent are more apt to have children play uneven because their parents are more physically and mentally involved in the lives of their children, and because their children are growing up with their single parents,” Rodriguez said.
The report does not explain why the children who were most likely with a physical or psychological problem were more prone to playing rough, but it does note that some of the reasons children play with stone coat are not entirely clear.
One of the researchers suggested that some parents might think that playing with a countertop is an activity that only children can do, and might assume that playing on the countertop would be less challenging because it is so child-friendly.
But in the real world, it is not so easy for children to understand what they are doing on a counter, or for parents to communicate their concerns about rough play, especially if the child is young and impressionable.
“It is important to acknowledge that the behavior of a child who is exposed to rough play on a rough surface might not be an appropriate way to treat or respond to an underlying physical problem,” Rodriguez wrote.
The researchers also note that the results are consistent across countries.
“These findings suggest that children who play with the rough surface are more than twice as likely to develop ADHD as those who play on other surfaces, and, if the risk of developing ADHD is related to the severity of the underlying physical or behavioral problem, these findings may explain why more children are experiencing ADHD than expected,” Rodriguez added.
“This new research underscores the need for comprehensive education about the risks of rough play in children and parents.”