Posts Tagged "Exercise"


Encouraging your child to participate in athletics can have a host of benefits. Not only can sports be fantastic for helping kids to keep in shape and to form excellent exercise habits, but most school sports also encourage teamwork and can even help keep students accountable when it comes to their grades. Unfortunately, though, students who participate in sports can still be as prone to injury as any other athlete. So, as a parent, it’s essential to understand what to do if your child gets injured playing a sport.

Immediate Action After Sports Injuries

First and foremost, make sure that you get your child checked out after they are injured. As helpful as on-field officials can be, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion about the extent of your child’s injury. While schools have become significantly more responsible when it comes to issues like concussions, nothing beats an actual physician when it comes to diagnosing the severity of an injury.

It’s also vital that you make sure that your child follows any orders from a doctor when they are recovering. It’s very possible that your child might feel ready to get back on the field before they are actually fully healed, and doing so might lead to more severe injuries in the future. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to make your child sit down and rest.

Take Necessary Time to Recover

Finally, make sure that you and your doctor set the timeline for your child’s return to the field. Unfortunately, many students feel pressured to get back to practicing sooner than is necessary, something that’s even tougher if your student is a significant part of their team. If you feel like a coach is pushing your child to get back too quickly, it’s vital that you push back.

Remember, most sports injuries are relatively minor and won’t impact your child forever. Taking the time to get your child checked out and following your doctor’s orders can help to ensure that your child will be able to keep competing for years to come. If you can help your child to exercise a bit of restraint, they will have a safer athletic career.


As the weather becomes increasingly warmer and sunnier, your children are probably more than ready to shed their jackets along with their homework and head outside to play. Outdoor play is actually a vital part of childhood, not only for the imaginative fun and socialization it provides but also for the physical and mental benefits that come hand-in-hand with this type of natural exercise.

  • First, children who play outdoors are able to get the vitamin D that their bodies desperately need. Vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods, although it can be gained from supplements or from certain fortified cereals and juices. However, as always, the best way to gain any type of nutrition is from natural sources, and sunshine is a great option for vitamin D, which is needed for strong bones. Not only can getting regular sunshine exposure provide necessary vitamin D, but also it can improve sleep and boost the immune system.
  • Second, children can benefit from activity in the fresh air. Children can build muscular strength and improve cardiovascular performance with simple activities, such as jumping rope, playing games of tag, and biking. Ideally, your children should be active for at least 60 minutes every day, and the outdoors provides a big enough space for this to happen easily. Plus, fresh air can help clear your child’s lungs, improve mental clarity and even improve digestion.
  • Third, outdoor play actually impacts mental health, improving executive functioning and even boosting your child’s mood. Outdoor environments are inherently calming, with plenty of green grass, blue sky, and sunshine to spark the imagination. By using the imagination to play in nature, children can avoid spending so much time in front of computer screens, smartphones and televisions and can instead explore for themselves and interact with their friends or siblings. This is critical for social development, especially in the early childhood years. In addition, the outdoors is a great place for children to explore taking risks and to develop numerous gross and fine motor skills.

Spending plenty of time outdoors during the growing years is vital for good physical health and mental wellbeing. If you are concerned that your child is not spending enough time outside or if springtime allergies or illnesses are keeping your child indoors more than you would like, schedule a visit with your trusted physician at Kids 1st Pediatrics.


When you think about nutrition for your children, you are probably most concerned about limiting sugar and ensuring that your children are maintaining healthy weights. Even though your child’s bone health has probably not made it to the top of your list of concerns, this is the single most important time in your child’s life for building healthy bones. In fact, almost all of their bone mass is built by the end of their teenage years. The bone built during these beginning years will be used throughout the rest of their lives.

Nutritious Yet Delicious Foods

Now that you know just how important it is to focus on your children’s bone health, you may be wondering how they can ensure their bodies have what they need to create stronger and more resilient bones. Your first concern will certainly be nutrition. The most important vitamins include vitamin D and vitamin K. Of course, many minerals are also vital, with calcium and magnesium quickly coming to the forefront of the nutrition discussion.

Most parents know about the importance of calcium, but your children may not be interested in eating many naturally calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens. Thankfully, many foods that kids do love, such as breakfast cereals, milk, and juice, are typically fortified with calcium along with vitamin D, which is necessary for your children’s bodies to make full use of the calcium they consume.

Physical Activity & Exercise

However, while good nutrition is vital for the growth of healthy bones throughout childhood, regular physical activity also plays a major role. High-impact exercises that put plenty of pressure on the bones actually help the bones grow stronger. Encourage energetic games and sports, particularly those that include jumping, such as jump rope, basketball, and volleyball. Even a high-energy family dance party counts as a bone-building exercise.

In addition to these tips, you will also want to encourage your child to stay away from soda and processed foods. Consuming these foods and drinks will actually strip bone material as the body will use bone cells to get the nutrients it needs. Instead, focus on good fats, such as avocados and nuts.

Kids 1st Pediatrics is here to help your child stay strong and healthy all the way through the teenage years. Schedule an appointment today for an annual physical or to discuss any concerns that you may have about your child’s health.


Nearly any baby book will tell you the importance of keeping your child away from screens until the age of two, but most do not go into much further detail. Decreasing screen time not only can protect your child’s eyesight and increase physical activity but also can decrease the incidence of many mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and poor attention in school. Here is a look at general screen time guidelines, along with steps you can take to decrease your child’s screen time starting today.

Not Letting Technology Take Over Daily Life

While screen time can gradually increase as children grow older, it is best to minimize it as much as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for infants, no more than one hour daily of screen-time for toddlers, and no more than two hours daily for school-age children and teenagers, not including school-related work they must do.

As you may have already found, it can be difficult to get your children off their smartphones and tablets and away from the television when they see you constantly using this technology. However, it is important to look for fun solutions and to model healthy behavior in this area as much as possible. Here are just a few tips for helping your children get away from their screens and back to imaginative play, reading, and other activities that work their bodies and minds.

  • Encourage outdoor activity. Purchase a basketball hoop, or play catch in the backyard.
  • Encourage your children to invite their friends over for a sleepover. Play games instead of watching movies.
  • Have a weekly game night rather than a movie night.
  • Help your children pick up a new hobby. Some good options could include sewing, drawing, or woodworking.
  • Take cooking classes together, and let your child cook dinner or bake a new treat once or twice each week.

We know that you have many questions about how to keep your children as healthy as possible, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally, and socially. At Kids 1st Pediatrics, we are here to help you make sense out of all the recommendations you have already received and to give you tips to help you keep your child happy and healthy all the way into adulthood. Give us a call to schedule your first appointment or a return visit for your child today.


Genetics, environmental factors, lifestyle, and daily choices play into the shape and size of every person on the planet. While your child has a great deal of information about how he will look already plugged into him when he is born, there are some things that you can do to prevent problems as he ages. One concern that should be on your radar is childhood obesity.

Create a Healthy Lifestyle

Remember that excess weight is usually put on when a child consumes more calories than he burns off in a typical day. Therefore, it is important that your child learns to eat nutrient-dense foods the majority of the time while also being active every day.

For healthy eating, focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at every meal. When serving meat, offer mainly lean proteins. Your child can also get plenty of protein from lentils and beans. Try to keep refined sugars and flours to a minimum by limiting them to occasional snacks.

You can also help your child stay active by providing him with a bicycle and plenty of activities that he can do outdoors. Ideally, your child should be active for at least 60 minutes on most days of the week. An organized sport may help.

Be the Example Your Child Needs

If you do not model the lifestyle you want your child to follow, your child may say no to the habits that you are hoping to instill in him. Remember that your actions speak louder than words and that your child is closely watching the decisions that you make.

Get Your Child Healthy

If your child is currently overweight, focusing on these simple lifestyle changes may be enough to turn the tide. Never start a weight loss program for your child without checking with his pediatrician first. Restrictive diets are often missing key nutrients that children need for growth.

By teaching your child how he can maintain a healthy weight in childhood, you are setting him up with the knowledge and skills that he will need to continue making healthy choices much later in life. You can significantly impact the current and future health of your child by teaching him about healthy foods and exercise tips while modeling them yourself. For more help with this topic, schedule an appointment with a trusted, local pediatrician at Kids 1st Pediatrics.