Don’t downplay ‘play’: Reasons Why Health Systems Should Protect Childhood Play

Lasse Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Much research has studied the importance of play for children's development. However, questions of its political importance and our public institutions' duties to protect it have been largely neglected. This article argues that childhood play is politically important due to having both intrinsic and instrumental value, and it suggests that the duty to protect the capability for play in childhood falls especially on the public health system. If this argument succeeds, it follows that we have stronger duties toward our children than we currently believe.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe Journal of Medicine & Philosophy
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)586-604
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


    • child development
    • health systems
    • play
    • social determinants of health
    • social inequality
    • Play and Playthings
    • Humans
    • Child Development
    • Child


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