In Hong Kong’s rapidly aging population, one can easily spot elderly folks in the streets, restaurants, parks or supermarkets in a wheelchair. Some of whom are operated with engines that don’t need a caregiver to push, and speeds that easily exceed the fastest brisk walkers in town.
However, besides these elderly members of the community, there are also a segment in the population that’s using a similar machinery — kids in strollers. Whether visiting Disneyland, enjoying a weekend stroll or going to school, having these children in strollers is a relief for parents or nannies who don’t need to carry them anymore. But it’s kind of alarming to note that many of them overuse and outsize their strollers. Maybe tourists can experience touring Hong Kong requires an extensive amount of time walking that it easily fulfills the daily pedometer quota, so children don’t have to endure the same experience — they are simply too tired from exhaustive list of assignments in school, after-class extra-curricular activities.
Having said that, children may need to step out of strollers and act their age. At four or five years old, their legs are strong enough independently to carry themselves. But children, when getting used to riding their strollers while on-screen time, pushed by an abiding nanny, could easily revolt against discarding the carrier.
When taking the MTR, you’ll find that both wheelchair-bound seniors and stroller-riding young ones compete for elevator space.
If kids continue to wedge on their strollers when they should have started developing their gross motor skills such as jumping or running, it could lead to weaker muscle structure, unnatural posture and help accelerate obesity.
But having strollers around for “overage” kids isn’t necessarily bad idea. Other benefits of strollers include:
1. Children are likely there next to you, won’t go away and you losing track of them.
2. Some parents also make use of strollers as extra hands, helping to carry groceries, bags and other items.
3. Parents can be assured children have a place to sleep if they need to, while going on shopping.
However, it is important to teach children to be independent at an early age (like potty training), and letting them walk, run or even stumble is part of learning. While stroller can still be brought, and used if needed, part of time with young children outdoors is to be used to prepare them as grown ups.
Or maybe parents are simply not prepared for their cute babies to grow up that they don’t mind making that hard stroller push all the time.