Now that summer is getting closer and restrictions are lifting, you might be wondering how you can help your kids maintain a healthy lifestyle this season. Thankfully there are a few helpful tips that you can employ to make this summer both fun and healthy!
1. Get a Wellness Check-Up
Getting a wellness check-up before this summer should be step number one. Not only can it help ensure that your child is as healthy as possible, but it can also be a good time to update any needed vaccinations. The tetanus vaccine can be especially important to keep up-to-date, as many kids enjoy running around barefoot during the summer. You never know what types of cuts could cause a reaction.
Similarly, the Association of American Medical Colleges projects that by 2025 there will be a deficit of between 14,900 and 35,600 primary care physicians. Specialties that are non-primary are estimated to face a deficit of between 37,400 and 60,300. By making sure that your child has all their appropriate check-ups now, you can help mitigate the risk of facing difficulties due to these deficits.
2. Play Outside
Last year put a damper on most outdoor activities, which led to many kids feeling bored and isolated. Thankfully this year is different, and it's time to take advantage of the removal of restrictions! This summer, consider treating your kid to days at the park, the beach, out camping, or at local festivals. By getting out of the home, you help break the cycle of screen time and unhealthy habits and instead have loads of refreshing fun!
3. Stock Up On Sunscreen
Whether you’re out at the park, the beach, or a campsite, it's important to keep sunscreen handy and apply it liberally. No matter who you are or your age, skin cancer risks are real, and you should always have protection. If you’re planning on taking to the water, make sure that the sunscreen you apply is rated as waterproof to avoid having your protection washed away. You should also always look for high levels of SPF to ensure that you’re getting the best coverage possible.
4. Fill Your Fridge with Fruits and Vegetables
It's no secret that kids — and most adults — don't get enough fruits and veggies in their diets. Roughly two million children aged 12-19 in the United States are facing a pre-diabetic condition, which is linked to obesity and inactivity. This can put them at risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular problems as they grow into adults. Thankfully, you can help break this trend by making sure that your home is stocked with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks. You may also consider taking your kids to the local farmer's market so that they can get involved picking out their own snacks!
5. Create a Bedtime Routine and Stick to It
Kids need sleep to stay healthy and energetic. This summer, make sure to create a bedtime routine and stick with it. This can help reinforce healthy habits and ensure that your kids have enough energy to keep going all summer long!
6. Enroll Your Kids at a Local Summer Camp
Local summer camps are a great way to get kids outside and socializing with friends. In the United States, there are over 34,567 private schools serving over 5.7 million PK-12 students, and many of these schools host camps throughout the summer. Similarly, contact your child's school and ask if they have any camp options or if they recommend any local programs. This will allow your children to get out of the house with kids that they know.
This summer is the time to get serious about health in a fun and constructive way. Consider these ideas, and sit down with your kids to talk about additional activities that they may be interested in. After last year's close-downs, your kids deserve to make the most of the summer months ahead this time around!