Posts Tagged "Outdoors"


The temperatures are rising, and the last days of summer break are here, leading many parents to want to make the most of the waning days of summer. It’s essential, though, to stop and think about the dangers posed by the record temperatures when your child is playing outside. Taking some time to look at how to keep your child safe in the heat is always a good idea.

Pay Attention to these Summer Heat Dangers

First and foremost, you’ll need to remember that it’s never a good idea for a child to stay outside in extreme temperatures for very long. You’ll want to use your best judgment, of course, but frequent breaks from playing outside are a must. Even if this just means sitting in the shade under an umbrella for a few minutes, giving your child’s body time to cool down and adapt will be helpful.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your child is wearing light clothing that won’t further increase their body heat. Hats can do a great job of providing shade and protection, but make sure that you’re also using sunblock on your child when they go outside – the last thing you want to deal with is a sunburn, after all. Remember, sunblock does need to be reapplied, so pay attention to the labels on the products that you use.

Finally, make sure that your child stays well-hydrated when outside. Bring a large water bottle with you any time you go outside, and make sure that your child is frequently drinking. It’s also a good idea to consider bringing some kind of healthy sports drink with you as well, as your child will need to replenish their electrolytes after a hard day of playing and sweating.

While you certainly don’t need to feel like you should always keep your child inside, it is important to make sure that you’re keeping your child safe when the temperatures rise. The right clothing, the right amount of water, and frequent breaks during play can help your child stay safe while still giving them an excellent chance to make the most of these last days of their summer break.


Not only is the weather beginning to change, but more people are starting to get out and about as vaccination levels rise. This means for this first time in quite a while, many kids will get a chance to go out and play. Before you allow your child to do so, though, you’ll want to take a few basic warm weather precautions.

Staying Safe During Outdoors Activities

The first step to take is always sun protection. Even if it’s not hot, the threat of sunburn and resulting skin conditions is very real. As such, it’s important to not only make sure that you protect your child by applying sunscreen as advised by the product’s directions, but also to ensure that your child is wearing proper clothing and a hat to reduce the amount of his or her skin that’s exposed to the sun.

It’s also very important that your child remains hydrated. Fortunately, this can be as simple as ensuring that you bring a water bottle with you to the park or playground and that your child takes regular breaks to drink. Remember, the harder your child plays, the more he or she is going to need, so don’t be afraid to bring backup water.

Finally, make sure that you give your child frequent breaks from playing outside when the weather finally starts to get hot. Playing outside is fantastic for your child, of course, but heatstroke is still a very real possibility for even the most outdoor-oriented of children. If your child is starting to get lethargic or slowing down, it might be a good time to come in and have a break.

While you should definitely take precautions, you should also remember to enjoy the sunny weather with your child. Not only is taking the time to get out and exercise good for your health, but it’s also a great chance for you to bond with your child. Take the same precautions, of course, but make sure to have fun while the pleasant weather is here.


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.


The world may seem like a whole new place to your child. Wearing a face mask outside your home may either seem like an exciting adventure or a scary circumstance depending on how you approach this conversation with your child and depending on your child’s temperament.

  • First, consider the age of your child before having this conversation. If you have very young children, you should approach this using simplistic language, answering their questions, and remaining calm at all times. Be careful of offering too many details as this may only scare them. Simply tell them that masks can help keep them from getting sick. If you are speaking to older children, you can also focus on other steps they can take to keep their germs to themselves and to stay away from other germs when they are out.
  • Second, come up with a plan to get your child to wear the mask when going out in public. For younger children, it may be best to approach this as you would a game. Practice wearing the mask at home so that your child knows what it will feel like before leaving home. You could also have a favorite stuffed animal wear a mask. Children may also want to know what they look like while wearing the mask. You can encourage them to look at themselves in the mirror or take a selfie. Some children like the idea of looking like a favorite superhero who also wears a mask.
  • Third, find a way to make the mask-wearing experience pleasurable. You could consider offering a small reward if your child is particularly hesitant. However, you will have to make the exact requirements for earning the reward clear before leaving home. Another option would be decorating the mask using markers or stickers. No matter how your child reacts to the mask, be sure to be accepting of his emotions.

Face masks are currently recommended for most children over the age of 2 when going out in public. If you have concerns about your child wearing a mask or want to know more about how you can keep your child safe and healthy during this continuing pandemic, contact Kid’s 1st Pediatrics today. We can help you understand what our clinic is doing to address this crisis, schedule an appointment for your child, or give you advice over the telephone.


When your children were infants, they loved to put everything in their mouths and had no qualms about rubbing their eyes every chance they got. Now that they are older, they may still have some of these same bad habits and may frequently come back from school with nasty colds or stomach viruses. By teaching your children about germs, they can understand better how bacteria and viruses are transferred from person to person and can become better stewards of their own health.

Your first inclination may be to sit down and have a talk with your child. However, most children become quickly bored by lengthy discussions. If they have nothing to look at during the discussion, the words you say are highly unlikely to make their way into your children’s memories. Instead, you need to teach them about germs by using something that sticks out to them and engages their senses.

Utilizing the Tools of Technology

One of the easiest options is to show your children a video about germs. There are plenty of free videos about this subject online today. Plus, nearly all children love watching videos. A video can help get across the message that germs are quite powerful even though they are unseen. To ensure that the message of the video has been made clear to your children, ask them to repeat back to you what they were taught.

While engaging one of the senses through watching a video can be powerful, an even more powerful teaching option is to engage at least two of the senses simultaneously through a demonstration. Find something that your children can not only watch but also test out with their hands. One example is putting glitter on your children’s hands and having them watch how the glitter gets on everything they touch.

As your children hear you talk to them about germs while watching you demonstrate germ transfer and getting to test it out for themselves, these new concepts will make their way more fully into their conscious thoughts. 
Although it will not happen overnight, your children will gradually start making smarter decisions about touching their faces, washing their hands frequently, and practicing good hygiene around others when they are ill. Until then, you do not have to feel bad about continuing to remind your children to cover their mouths when coughing or to keep their hands off their faces.