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Health Information For Parents
Kids this age need physical activity to build strength, coordination, and confidence — and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. They’re also gaining more control over how active they are.
School-age kids should have many chances to do a variety of activities, sports, and games that fit their personality, ability, age, and interests. Brainstorm with your kids on activities that feel right. Most kids won’t mind a daily dose of fitness as long as it’s fun.
Physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that they get 1 hour or more of moderate to strong physical activity daily.
activity are running, swimming, and dancing.
Many parents and kids think of organized sports when they think of fitness. Though there are many advantages to signing a child up for a sports team, practice and games once or twice a week will not be enough to reach activity goals. Also, parents can no longer rely on physical education in schools to provide enough physical activity for kids.
Here are some ways to keep your kids moving at home:
If you run out of possibilities at home, take advantage of local playgrounds and athletic fields. Make family fitness outings part of your regular routine. Let family members choose an activity — go hiking, ice skating, or try out the rock-climbing gym. Anything goes, as long as everyone can participate.
And remember: You’ll help show your kids that exercise is important by regularly exercising yourself.
Through physical activities, kids learn about sportsmanship, setting goals, meeting challenges, teamwork, and the value of practice.
Keep in mind your child’s age and developmental level, natural abilities, and interests. Kids 6 to 8 years old are sharpening basic physical skills like jumping, throwing, kicking, and catching. Some enjoy doing this in organized sports teams, but non-competitive leagues are best for younger kids. Show your support by coaching your child’s team or cheering from the stands on game days.
Kids 9 to 12 years old are refining, improving, and coordinating skills. Some become even more committed to a sport while others drop out as competition heats up and level of play improves.
It’s OK if a child isn’t interested in traditional sports, but it’s important to find alternative ways to be active. Encourage a child who doesn’t like soccer, basketball, or other team sports to explore other active options, like karate, fencing, golf, bicycling, skateboarding, and tennis.
Kids who participate in sports are at risk for injuries, so be sure yours wear the proper protective equipment, such as a helmet and protective pads when roller-blading. Kids who specialize in one sport are also at risk of overuse injuries, including stress fractures and joint injuries.
A child with a chronic health condition or disability should not be excluded from fitness activities. Some activities may need to be changed or adapted, and some may be too risky depending on the condition. Talk to your doctor about which activities are safe for your child.
Kids who enjoy sports and exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. And staying fit can improve how kids do at school, build self-esteem, prevent obesity, and decrease the risk of serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease later in life.
If your child complains of pain during or after physical activity, talk with your doctor.
Kids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.
Kids this age are naturally active, so be sure to provide lots of opportunities for your child to practice basic skills, such as running, kicking, and throwing.
Take advantage of your child’s natural tendency to be active. Staying fit can help improve kids’ self-esteem and decrease the risk of serious illnesses later in life.
As kids grow from grade-schoolers to preteens, there continues to be a wide range of “normal” as far as height, weight, and shape.
Regular well-child exams are essential to keep kids healthy and up-to-date with immunizations. Find out what to expect at the doctor’s office.
Sports can be challenging when you’re new to them, but they also can be really fun. Take a second look at sports – and learn other ways to be active – in this article for kids.
Kids who have asthma can and do play sports. Find out how to do it safely in this article for kids.
Being active is a key component of good health for all school-age kids. So how do you get kids motivated to be active, especially those who aren’t gifted athletes?
You know the importance of exercising and eating nutritious foods, but do you know how to raise a healthy and active child? Get practical advice and tips.
All kids need to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should that balance change for kids who play on a sports team or work out?
Sports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids.
Want to know more about eating right and being active? This is the place!
Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.
A lot of people talk about fit kids, but how do you become one? Here are five rules to live by, if you want to eat right, be active, and keep a healthy weight.
Exercise can help keep a kid’s body fit and healthy. Learn more about what exercise can do for you in this article for kids.
Some kids aren’t natural athletes and they may say they just don’t like sports. What then?
Communicating with a child is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding experiences for both parent and child. Learn how to connect with your 6- to 12-year-old.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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