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Keeping Kids Physically Fit as Summer Heats Up

By HERWriter
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keep kids physically fit while summer heats up Monkey Business Images/PhotoSpin

As we turn the page from May to June, we are winding down from school and heading into summer. May was National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and helped to shed light on the importance of physical fitness and sports. We need to keep that same momentum throughout the summer and encourage kids to be active.

Here are just a few ideas from Healthfinder.gov:

“Encourage families to make small changes, like taking a walk after dinner or going for a bike ride. Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of every student’s day. Identify youth leaders in the community who can talk to their peers about the importance of being active.”

It is also important to promote less screen time throughout the summer and keep kids moving, even when it is hot.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune by Dr. Sue Hubbard, “Total non-educational screen time (again, the definition of 'educational' may vary from family to family), should be no more than 2 hours per day. This limit should also be enforced in child care centers, after-school programs and community centers.”

Speaking of community centers, you may want to take advantage of indoor active youth camps at a community center or YMCA. Splash around at a community pool with the kids, but remember that sunscreen is important.

The Centers for Disease Control offers their recommendation. “Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don't forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.”

Of course, if swimming opt for a waterproof sunscreen, and the CDC encourages us to remember to seek some shade, wear a hat and sunglasses, too.

Toddler fitness classes are another fun way to get your little ones moving. There are many class options at recreation centers or a gymboree which encourage kids to do the things that they are excited to do at this stage of development. This helps develop a healthy attitude toward movement and exercise at an early stage.

When it cools off in the evening take advantage of the longer days by doing something active as a family, such as making your own ballgame in the park or going on a family hike. As your children move into adolescents, it is especially important to keep encouraging them in their preferred sports or activities.


“National Physical Fitness and Sports Month – Healthfinder.gov.” U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Web. 30 May 2014.

“Kids, media and obesity: Too much 'screen time' can harm your child's health – By: Susan Hubbard, M.D. – ChicagoTribune.com.” The Chicago Tribune. Web. 30 May 2014.

“How Can I Protect My Children from the Sun? – CDC.Gov.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 30 May 2014.

Reviewed May 30, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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