What age to go without a push chair at theme parks? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We went to Bush Gardens yesterday and rented a stroller.  It seemed really tiny for ds, who is only 29lbs/37" (age 4).  He has never been a push chair kid, he rode in carriers until he could walk and has been walking/riding his bike everywhere sense.  We only owned a push chair for a short time, and it was specifically for theme parks (we live near orlando, so often get a season pass to some place).  

 

I pretty much used the push chair to carry "stuff" vs to push ds around, we have to bring all his food/drink b/c of his allergies.  I was thinking next time it might be easier if he just walked and I carried a back pack. 

 

Would it be crazy to go without one?   I saw tones of kids who were like 7-8yrs old and still in push chairs there!

 

If it matters, this will be for sea world, what we have the pass for now, so a small-ish park with a lot of shows. 

 

 

ETA:  Push chair = stroller

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#2 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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We went to a small amusement park (Knoebels in PA) this past summer (ds was almost 4).  We went with two other families (one kid just turned 4 the other was almost 5) no one had a stroller.  But we did all give a lot of piggy back rides and all wished we had brought our ergos!  But that was mostly for leaving in the evening (we stayed for 4 days and camped).  We took frequent breaks and spent a lot of time just sitting around watching stuff so that helped too.  We went the year before and I don't think we brought a stroller then either.

 

So I would say, as soon as you don't want one anymore!  You can always rent one in the middle of the day if you feel like you need it.

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#3 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Stollers are really handy for carrying "stuff" as much as they are for children.  Drinks, snacks, changes of clothes, maybe sweaters/jackets.  I dread the day when I no longer have a child young enough to use a stroller :lol  Again..not so much for the child as for the "stuff".  Even when we just go to the zoo for like 2 hours, it is still much easier to carry water bottles or snacks in a stroller then lug them around in a back-pack (which gets heavy) and then if you end up carrying a child too...it gets very uncomfortable very quickly.  Of course, if you are planning on buying all food/drinks then it's not as necessary...we never do that however, we always bring our own.


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#4 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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I haven't been to Busch Gardens with an older kid, but I have been to Disney World and SeaWorld. I'd bring it to SeaWorld because the hills there have me exhausted by the end of the day. But then again, if you go often, you aren't trying to get from show to show and cram it all in. I still like it for our stuff. We typically bring our own food and water as well. Plus jackets if needed. I have a 2 YO and a 7 YO, and if my 7 YO asked for a ride for a few minutes, I'd let her. My 2 YO likes to walk occasionally. I wish I could still put her in my ring sling or even in my ergo, but I have a neck and back injury and it just makes me too sore now that she is bigger. She really wants down anyhow, but I miss those days. smile.gif

When we went to Disney World last year, we brought 2 strollers. Now, we are talking about 10 days in a row of constant walking. Mostly she walked, but in large crowds, and when we were rushing from one place to another, she rode. But mostly, we used it to carry the 8-10 bottles of water we brought with us and our backpacks.I wasn't going to bring it, but a friend talked me into it. I thanked her when we returned. Now, we go to smaller parks, and my 7 YO wouldn't dream of riding. But those are more local and one day for lots of walking is not the same as 7-10 days straight.

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#5 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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We don't go to theme parks but we don't use strollers for other all-day trips like the zoo, festivals, etc. I hate pushing strollers for some reason -- I guess I just like my arms free and to not be wrestling a big clunky thing on wheels. So usually we just bring a backpack for food & stuff a wrap or the Ergo in there in case DS isn't able to walk the whole time or needs a nap. That works much better when DH is with us so one of us can wear DS & the other can carry the backpack, but I've even managed to wear DS AND a backpack (both on my back) at the same time.

But, I don't think there is an age where anyone "should" stop using strollers. DS often won't walk a lot because he gets overwhelmed & scared so if I liked using a stroller I'd still be using one. He's only 2.5 but I'd imagine lots of under-10yo kids might have trouble walking long distances for physical reasons or sensory issues like my DS or whatever. If your kid always ends up walking the whole time anyway though, then it makes more sense to me to just use a backpack (or maybe a rolling cart if you can't carry everything & don't mind pushing it...)

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#6 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Me personally - unless your child has special needs, strollers shouldn't really be used once the child reaches school age (5-6). I see tons of older kids in strollers nowadays, school age kids, that are more than capable of walking. Sure, you have to go at a slower pace to accommodate them, and maybe not stay out for nine hours straight, but there's really no reason for a kid that big to be in a stroller. We walked everywhere by the time we were in kindergarten and it didn't kill us. :-) 


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#7 of 30 Old 11-26-2011, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I think we may just have to try it out and see how it goes!

 

Right now, he never rides in a push chair for things like the zoo (we have a pass there, our zoo is small though), or street festivals (they have one every other friday night and we often go) or anything like that.

 

 

With the pass, and SeaWorld being only 40min away, I guess we could try without and if he gets tired, we can always leave.  I don't plan on going for hours on end there anyways.   And based on how he does I can re-evaluate for bigger parks/longer days, if we were to go anywhere for the whole day instead of just part of the day.  

 

I just need to get myself a backpack for all the food, thats pretty much all we bring with us (no jackets/clothes change, its plenty hot out to do without!)

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We used to live near Sea World and had a season pass. Because we went pretty often, we didn't try to see the whole place in one day, which really cut down on the walking/exhaustion factor. We'd hang at the kid play area, see a show, and pick an exhibit or two to see. The next visit we would hang at the kid play area, see a different show, and pick a different exhibit or two to see. It was lovely. I think Sea World is really overwhelming to try to see the whole place in one day.

 

As far as what age to stop with the stroller, I think it really depends on how many kids you have, how close the are together, if you have another adult there, etc. There isn't a hard and fast rule. I once ended up with my DDs, who are closely spaced, completely exhausted at a zoo that had a VERY long UPHILL walk to the car. And I was the only adult. It was really horrid and they were both sobbing by the time we got to the car.  If another adult had been there, we could have just picked them up. I should have used a stroller or wagon.

 

I would never judge another parent for using a stroller, no matter how old or able bodied their child appeared to be.


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#9 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 04:39 AM
 
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one day we plan to do disneyland - but we plan to do it in a day. 

 

even for my 10 year old i hope to get a push cart or whatever i can find for her size. i can see her be totally exhausted by all the stimulation. this is the same child who can easily go for a moderate 10 mile hike or a steep scramble on your hands and knees, 2 mile hike. 

 

physical exhaustion is just one part of 'exhaustion' there is so much other exhaustion. 

 


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#10 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Im sorry but any child over 4 or 5 that does not have special needs should not be pushed around in a stroller.  10 years old? no way.  I see way too many older kids in strollers and can't help but think about how that sets the trend to not get simple exercise as they grow older.

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#11 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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Im sorry but any child over 4 or 5 that does not have special needs should not be pushed around in a stroller.  10 years old? no way.  I see way too many older kids in strollers and can't help but think about how that sets the trend to not get simple exercise as they grow older.


I absolutely agree with this. The fact is, we have an obesity/health problem in this country, just because people don't make time for basic exercise and aren't taught that fitness is important. It starts at home. If you get tired on a walk, sit for a minute and have some water, then continue. Healthy practices make for healthy people.

 


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#12 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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We went to Disney when our DD was turning 4. We brought a backpack carrier. It carried all our stuff and her if she fell asleep. Otherwise she was fine to walk. The next time we went she was 5 and we didn't even consider it. Now she is 8 and it seems ridiculous to even consider something like that.

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#13 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

one day we plan to do disneyland - but we plan to do it in a day. 

 

 


 

If this really is your plan, then my best advice is to do a HUGE amount of research before you go and prioritize what she would like to do. I cannot imagine trying to squeeze in a trip to Disneyland in a single day. That is a guarantee for frustration and exhaustion. 

 

OP - personally, I always found strollers, wagons etc. to be a huge pain. Not only do I have to keep an eye on my kids, but I also have to manoeuvre this bulky thing around, find parking for it, hope nothing gets stolen from it - or it doesn't get taken....BUT that's me. If a stroller makes your visit more pleasant and easier, then go ahead and use one. I understand why a stroller might be used for a small child. I certainly wouldn't consider a stroller for a pre-teen kid. At 10, my kids were almost as tall as I am, and at 12 y.o. they were my size. I can't imagine trying to push them around a park all day, unless the kid suffered from a disability. 

 

 

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#14 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

If this really is your plan, then my best advice is to do a HUGE amount of research before you go and prioritize what she would like to do. I cannot imagine trying to squeeze in a trip to Disneyland in a single day. That is a guarantee for frustration and exhaustion. 

yup that's what i plan to do. and that's the reason why i want a stroller or whatever we need. we have to kinda be fast and furious. dd can handle being there  from opening to to closing.  i am not sure if we will be able to afford two days. 

 

we use 'strollers' all the time. its easier for me to get shopping done quickly if dd rides the shopping cart instead of standing and looking at things she'd like to have but we cant afford to buy. it would be so much easier for us if we had a stroller for her. she could sit and read and i could get things done faster. even better would be leaving her home, but that's not an option sometimes. 

 

dd hated the stroller when younger, but boy oh boy could i totally use a stroller now. and now IS the time she'd totally use the stroller. 


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#15 of 30 Old 11-27-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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I say whenever they are old enough to walk and stand all day long without having to be carried. What ever age that is. DD1 could do that by 3-4, we never used a stroller for her. DD2 is 5 and I bring a stroller for her on long days or when long walks. She is a big 5 but has asthma and just doesn't have the stamina to go for a while. Even with a drink and a rest, she just drags. 


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#16 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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We recently returned from a trip to Disney World/Universal Studios and if you had seen me there you would have seen my almost 8 year old in a rented stroller. *OH THE HORROR* biglaugh.gif

 

We had a LONG first day with no stroller and he made it through it but was miserable.  Even with pricey shoes for his feet, they start to hurt, even without being at DW, when we have long walks. 

 

So I made a choice, have a miserable/unhappy kid having a horrible time at DW or be one of those parents that put their kid in a stroller and didn't give a rat's ass what other people thought.

 

Yep, I chose option 2 and we had a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  It all depends on your kid, how long you plan on being there and what you are willing to do/not do for the happiness of everyone involved.

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#17 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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When our older one was 4, we went to Disney, and she was NEVER in a stroller at that point so we didn't even think to bring one, but oh my goodness did we wish we had. It's just too big a day and too much walking for little legs, especially when keeping up with big legs. One day with a stroller at a special place to make it more enjoyable is not going to make a child obese.

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#18 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 05:01 AM
 
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When our older one was 4, we went to Disney, and she was NEVER in a stroller at that point so we didn't even think to bring one, but oh my goodness did we wish we had. It's just too big a day and too much walking for little legs, especially when keeping up with big legs. One day with a stroller at a special place to make it more enjoyable is not going to make a child obese.


Just to clarify, of course one day in a stroller isn't going to make a child a obese. But I was just pointing out that there seems to be a pattern in this country of people using strollers for older children routinely, which I think does contribute to that kind of problem. 

 


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#19 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 05:08 AM
 
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Just to clarify, of course one day in a stroller isn't going to make a child a obese. But I was just pointing out that there seems to be a pattern in this country of people using strollers for older children routinely, which I think does contribute to that kind of problem. 

 



 

I don't disagree with that, but this thread is not about routine use, and I don't want moms who use strollers just at theme parks think they're doing something wrong. It isn't the same thing.

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#20 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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I don't disagree with that, but this thread is not about routine use, and I don't want moms who use strollers just at theme parks think they're doing something wrong. It isn't the same thing.


Point conceded. :-) 

 


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#21 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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Totally OT here...
 

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But I was just pointing out that there seems to be a pattern in this country of people using strollers for older children routinely, which I think does contribute to that kind of problem. 

I am not sure that regular stroller use for older kids has anything to do with obesity. however i dont really see that many older kids in strollers where i am either. if you banned strollers for anyone 4 and above i doubt it would have an impact on obesity. imho obesity these days is nothing but food addiction and the only time we will see some impact on that social problem is when there is will be obesity rehab camp and the corporations dont get to decide what people should eat.

 

being the mom of an older kid though the stroller has taken on a whole different definition for me. stroller at the store means a peaceful shopping experience for me on those days dd does not want to go to the store - when she is tired and zapped and yet we dont have a choice.



 

 


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#22 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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Totally OT here...
 

Quote:

I am not sure that regular stroller use for older kids has anything to do with obesity. however i dont really see that many older kids in strollers where i am either. if you banned strollers for anyone 4 and above i doubt it would have an impact on obesity. imho obesity these days is nothing but food addiction and the only time we will see some impact on that social problem is when there is will be obesity rehab camp and the corporations dont get to decide what people should eat.

 

being the mom of an older kid though the stroller has taken on a whole different definition for me. stroller at the store means a peaceful shopping experience for me on those days dd does not want to go to the store - when she is tired and zapped and yet we dont have a choice.


I guess what I was trying to point out was that stroller use for able bodied older kids is part of teaching an attitude that exercise and fitness aren't important, which is a big factor in the obesity problem. Not that stroller use will directly cause obesity. But as a PP pointed out, that wasn't exactly the question posed by the OP, so I guess I just put it out there as food for thought for everyone. When it comes right down it, we're all just doing the best we can to make the best decisions for our kids and families. 

 


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#23 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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We went to Disney World a few months ago.  Almost brought a stroller for DS, who was 3 1/2, but figured that the kid runs circles around us on normal days, so what would we need a stroller for?

 

On day 2, we got tired of carrying him off and on through the day, drove to Babies R Us, and bought a stroller.  (We were due for a new one anyway.)

 

It's worth mentioning that we only go to theme parks in the off-season, when lines are short (the standing in line happens without a stroller in most cases) and we're not struggling to squeeze everything into one day.

 

I will bring out the stroller for outings like the aquarium or the zoo, and 9 times out of 10, DS will want to be up and running around.  But for a theme park, we learned our lesson.  ;)

 

I can't imagine how one would be able to find a stroller that would comfortably hold a 10 year old, to be honest.


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#24 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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hey i jumped on it because of the food for thought issue. you dangle that carrot in front of me and hey i'll just go for it.

 

i still dont think stroller has anything to do with fitness and exercise either.

 

i really do think obesity is a class issue. if you look at where the majority issue of obesity is a problem - you see its a social issue - not of a family being lazy (i know you didnt mean that). look at the areas where obesity is an issue and you will find no parks or very few, tiny backyards, lots of fast food, and pathetic grocery stores offering low quality fresh and processed food. it isnt just a poor issue anymore but a middle class issue too. but unfortunately the middle class is full of the working poor - that group that gets the worst of the lot. if you look at those schools - yes they do have a playground but no PE. AND the playground is not available after school for a multitude of reasons.

 

i mean people have already lost the knowledge of what healthy food is. look how fast it happened. 2, 3 generations.

 

when you dont provide the space for kids to run around and play - not even courts, how do you expect people to have a sense of fitness and exercise. it is much more normal to do 'exercise' than not. but when you dont provide the space then 'than not' becomes the norm. it blows my mind that when one talks about being fit and exercise one mainly means the gym. no one really means the bike ride, walking or running. again if you take jogging does that activity happen (in general - not the exception and most of the members here fall into the exception category) when there is no park?

 

this is very much on my mind because of the 3rd grader that was removed from his mom because of his weight issue. he was removed because she didnt do enough according to their books.

 

yeah i have no clue how i am going to find anything for a 10 year old  either . i am sure they wont allow bicycles or skateboards or even roller skates. that is why i thought of a stroller.


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#25 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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When we get to go to Disney, I will have no problem renting one of their awesome strollers.

 

DD;s 4 3/4 and we bring her stroller sometimes on long outings. It doesn't have a tray and she doesn't buckle in, so she can hop in and out when she wants. She might ride for a few minutes and then hops out to look at things.It's no different than resting on a bench but allows us to keep moving when we need to.

 

 

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#26 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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hey i jumped on it because of the food for thought issue. you dangle that carrot in front of me and hey i'll just go for it.

 

i still dont think stroller has anything to do with fitness and exercise either.

 

i really do think obesity is a class issue. if you look at where the majority issue of obesity is a problem - you see its a social issue - not of a family being lazy (i know you didnt mean that). look at the areas where obesity is an issue and you will find no parks or very few, tiny backyards, lots of fast food, and pathetic grocery stores offering low quality fresh and processed food. it isnt just a poor issue anymore but a middle class issue too. but unfortunately the middle class is full of the working poor - that group that gets the worst of the lot. if you look at those schools - yes they do have a playground but no PE. AND the playground is not available after school for a multitude of reasons.

 

i mean people have already lost the knowledge of what healthy food is. look how fast it happened. 2, 3 generations.

 

when you dont provide the space for kids to run around and play - not even courts, how do you expect people to have a sense of fitness and exercise. it is much more normal to do 'exercise' than not. but when you dont provide the space then 'than not' becomes the norm. it blows my mind that when one talks about being fit and exercise one mainly means the gym. no one really means the bike ride, walking or running. again if you take jogging does that activity happen (in general - not the exception and most of the members here fall into the exception category) when there is no park?

 

this is very much on my mind because of the 3rd grader that was removed from his mom because of his weight issue. he was removed because she didnt do enough according to their books.

 

yeah i have no clue how i am going to find anything for a 10 year old  either . i am sure they wont allow bicycles or skateboards or even roller skates. that is why i thought of a stroller.

 

You're misunderstanding what I've been saying. I don't believe strollers cause obesity. As I clarified up thread, it's the attitude around repeated stroller use in older able bodied children that I think contributes to the obesity problem via lack of adequate training on good exercise and fitness. But we should let this thread get back to it's original topic. Might be an interesting thread in and of itself though. :-) 


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#27 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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When we did Disneyworld the first time, DS was almost 4. DH ended up carrying him on his shoulders most of the day, and it was uncomfortable for him to say the least. All the walking was a bit much for DS at that age. We would have done much better with a stroller for that day. By the time DS was five, he could do parks without one. My older two were between the ages of 6 and 9 and could walk through the parks of Orlando quite easily, although we had a few complaint sessions, and ended up taking a few breaks.


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#28 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

You're misunderstanding what I've been saying. I don't believe strollers cause obesity. As I clarified up thread, it's the attitude around repeated stroller use in older able bodied children that I think contributes to the obesity problem via lack of adequate training on good exercise and fitness. But we should let this thread get back to it's original topic. Might be an interesting thread in and of itself though. :-) 

oh i get you smile.gif what i am saying is i disagree with you. even with the attitude. when one does not have the adequate space for fitness and exercise how can one develop an attitude for it?!!!!


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#29 of 30 Old 12-17-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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I am going to use a wagon when my DD is no longer young enough to justify a stroller for really long days at parks or whatever. All my kids walk a lot and will walk for long times at places like that but then there is usually a point where they need to sit down and we need t o keep walking. Most of the time, the stroller is used to hold bags and whatever we bring with us because I do not like having to carry everything in a backpack, especially when it's hot.. Right now, we still use a carrier and bring the stroller as back up and for our stuff. Some places have wagons to rent if you don't have one or can't fit it in your car.


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#30 of 30 Old 12-19-2011, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2M View Post

I am going to use a wagon when my DD is no longer young enough to justify a stroller for really long days at parks or whatever. All my kids walk a lot and will walk for long times at places like that but then there is usually a point where they need to sit down and we need t o keep walking. Most of the time, the stroller is used to hold bags and whatever we bring with us because I do not like having to carry everything in a backpack, especially when it's hot.. Right now, we still use a carrier and bring the stroller as back up and for our stuff. Some places have wagons to rent if you don't have one or can't fit it in your car.


 

It would be nice to be able to use a wagon (more to carry "stuff" than anything else), but theme parks don't allow wagons, at least not Disney/Sea World here.  The zoo allows them, but he has never ridden in anything there, he'd walk the whole zoo no problem by the time we moved here when he was 18months old. 

 

 

We have to pick up Grandma from the airport so are planning on going to Sea World this week, I'm going to see how he does walking.  I plan on mostly going to shows (they have a lot of holiday shows), so there will be plenty of down time too.  

 

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