Kindergartners' naked sunbathing arouses controversy

08:41, May 19, 2011      

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Children play naked at Chance Dongtai Kindergarten.

Wearing nothing but their underpants, several young girls were playing with totally naked boys on the playground at Chance Dongtai Kindergarten in Dongguan, Guangdong Province on Tuesday morning, a practice which has aroused controversy among parents and local residents, the Guangzhou Daily reported Wednesday.

The headmaster of the kindergarten told reporters that the children were having a sunbath as part of their physical education, and added that it is very popular in foreign countries. Nevertheless, some parents are still not able to understand.

Sunbathing can promote calcium absorption, boost bone growth and, most importantly, prevent foot-and-mouth disease, the headmaster said.
If parents cannot accept the naked sunbathing, they are welcome to withdraw their students from the class, as the class is voluntary.

Most of the children's parents feel that it is inappropriate to let children play together nude, as some of the children are old enough to notice differences between the two genders.

Some also worry that their children may get sick from not wearing any clothes.

Experts hold varying opinions on this issue. He Huan, a psychological counselor, said he was shocked when he heard what had happened, as children aged between three and five are generally aware of gender differences.

In contrast, another psychological counselor, Wu Zhen, argued that the environment for sunbathing is public and similar to that of swimming, and hence parents need not be so worried.

Source: Global Times
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