Kids Health The Newsletter About Taking Care Of The Ones That Matter Most
“Swing Into Some Fun Without Fear Of Injuries!” FUN IN THE SUN: STRATEGIES FOR KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE OUTDOORS
Every new parent goes through the same ritual of preparing their home for baby: cover the outlets, remove sharp edges, block off the stairwell from easy access, etc. Baby-proofing the home is actually a huge industry, with plenty of specialty items that help make it easier for parents to keep their kitchen cabinets locked and the baby far away from reaching any laundry detergent or ant poison. The home is a treasure chest of unique methods to keep our kids out of trouble, but for some reason, many of those concerns seem to fly out the window once we head outdoors.
Kids Health The Newsletter About Taking Care Of The Ones That Matter Most
“Is Your Child Prepared To Play Outside Safely!” FUN IN THE SUN: STRATEGIES FOR KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE OUTDOORS
• 4 Reasons To Play Outside With Your Special Needs Child
• Staff Spotlight
• Writing A Review Is Just A Click Away
Keeping your kids safe outside is actually even more difficult than managing the inside of your home. Inside, you control what happens. Outside, you are working against all of the environmental factors that your kids may come across. Even within the relatively safe parameters of your own backyard there are potential dangers that your children may face. The most effective way to protect your kids from harm when they are playing outside is to take precautions when they get ready to go out and play. This should include: • Always putting on sunscreen, whether it is sunny out or not. The sun shines through the cloud, and kid’s skin tends to burn quicker than that of adults. Kids should especially wear sunscreen on their faces, and reapply every hour or two that they are outside—especially during the summer. Wearing a hat and sunglasses is also a good way to protect eyes and the sensitive skin around the face from the sun. • Use bug spray all day, but especially once the sun starts to go down. Long summer evenings are a perfect time to head outside and play before dinner is done, but this is when the bugs are going to be most intense. No one likes bug bites, they are annoying and itchy. But bug bites—especially mosquitos—can also carry diseases. Use bug spray to reduce the likelihood of getting a bite, and make sure your yard is free of breeding grounds like open spaces of undisturbed water.
• Treat your grass for ants and other pests that may be lurking in the yard. Bug spray will do half of the job by preventing mosquitos from attacking, but bug spray won’t stop ants. Many yard treatments will address the presence of a collection of pests, from ants to termites and a whole lot of other unpleasant bugs in between. • Make sure your children are absolutely always wearing shoes! Days get hectic, and kids are quick. Sometimes they want to run outside for a moment and they don’t stop to put shoes on—and sometimes you just want peace for half a minute and decide the world won’t end if their feet get dirty—but this is actually a huge risk. On hot days, feet can burn when they touch the pavement. On any day, bare-feet are exposed to bugs, thorns, and all sorts of other risks like stray pieces of glass. Shoes are the best way to protect your kids on the go. Kids are risk takers, and sometimes it is hard to predict where the real danger is. This is why it is so important for parents to take a step back and consider what the best strategies are for preparing kids to have a fun time outdoors. Using safety tools like good shoes, sun screen, a nice hat and bug repellant can ensure that a fun day out in the sun will be just that—loads of fun.
4 REASONS TO PLAY OUTSIDE WITH YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD
1. Playing outdoors promotes creativity and imaginative play. For many children with special needs, days can be incredibly limiting with rules governing every aspect of time. Being outdoors allows them to think more freely and direct their play in ways of their own choosing. Playing pretend can open windows into how children think and feel, even if they have limited verbal skills in ‘real life.’ If you pay close attention, you’re apt to recognize in your child a whole world of thoughts and emotions that you wouldn’t access if you stayed inside. 2. It improves physical fitness. To be sure, only one in three children are physically active every day, according to medical professionals specializing in pediatrics. Throughout the nation, 25.6 percent of persons with a disability reported being physically inactive during a usual week, compared to 12.8 percent of those without a disability. Yet people of every age and ability still need to engage in activities that promote body wellness. Being outdoors is a natural way to encourage these behaviors. Children can see improvements in flexibility, muscle strength, and coordination. Active outdoor play can increase body awareness, balance, cardiovascular efficiency, and motor skills. Even 15 minutes of physical activity can lengthen a person’s lifespan. 3. Outside time reduces fatigue and stress. One in three adolescents suffers from chronic stress, according to a 2013 survey from Stockholm University. Eight percent contend with stress so much that they would qualify for a clinical diagnosis of burnout if they had been adults. So while young people’s lives become more stressful due to heightened expectations, conflicting responsibilities, adult pressures, and unrealistic goals, they have fewer outlets to cope.
4. Outdoor play increases confidence. It’s an unfortunate fact, but many children with special needs and those who require pediatric physical therapy struggle with issues of self-esteem. Rather than being differently abled, they are perceived as disabled and that doesn’t make for confidence boosts. However, going outside to play can help. There are infinite ways to interact with the environment that don’t rely on prescribed rules. Likewise, there are no judgments in nature. The ocean, trees, rocks, and grass don’t tease. If your child struggles with cognitive, physical, or sensory limitations, pediatric therapy may be the solution. A trained physical therapist can help increase independent living skills while tending to children’s psychological, social, and environmental needs as well.
Renae Ankeny, BS, COTA
Renae Ankeny, BS, COTA is a Certified OccupationalTherapy Assistant in Martinsville. She joined the Center for Pediatric Therapies in December 2016. She is certified and licensed to practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Originally from Bassett, Virginia, Renae attended Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology and an Associates in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy. As a student at Jefferson College, Renae was active in a Bible study group and the Jefferson College Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA). She also served as a member of the OTA Program Admission Committee. She is currently a member of the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association).
Renae is inspired by helping children reach their maximum potential. She loves practicing Occupational Therapy because every day is a new day in which it teaches you to be thankful and excited about the little things. Outside of work, Renae stays busy singing on the praise team at church, teaching children’s church, horseback riding at her farm, enjoying the outdoors, and going to the gym.
Free ASL Classes: The Center for Pediatric Therapies and Danville Parks & Recreation are teaming up to offer a FREE 4-week course on American Sign Language for Beginners. Classes will be held at the Ballou Park Rec Center in Danville. These beginner sign language classes will teach basic sign vocabulary including colors, foods, the alphabet, and other participant directed content. Teachers are Sarah Anne Rosner, MS, CF-SLP and Christina Brothers, MS, CF-SLP. Sarah Anne and Christina are both Speech-Language Pathologists at the Center for Pediatric Therapies in Danville. Contact Danville Parks & Recreation at 434-799-5216 to register.
Zumba-thon for Autism Join us for our annual Zumba-thon for Autism! $10 suggested donation to the Autism Education Fund. Open to Y-members and non-members alike. The Zumba-thon will be led by Kristen Barker, Executive Director at the Center for Pediatric Therapies, along with other local Zumba instructors. RSVP to our Facebook event.
Wobble & Gobble Autism Awareness 5k
Save the Date! November 10, 2018 at Anglers Park in Danville the Center for Pediatric Therapies has partnered with the Junior Wednesday Club to host the Wobble and Gobble Autism Awareness 5k. This new event will build on the wildly successful six-year history of the Dan River Autism Awareness 5k. Registration and details: www. wobblegobbleautism5k.com.
WRITING A REVIEW IS JUST A CLICK AWAY!
Center for Pediatric Therapies values each of our patients and believes that every child is truly special. We invite you to share your child’s experience with CPT by leaving us a review on Facebook. Simply log onto Facebook, visit our page @centerforpediatrictherapies then click Reviews to tell people what you think. We’d love to hear how physical, occupational, and speech therapy have impacted your child’s life.
Review Us On Facebook Today!
“I love when my son’s PT comes for our home visits. She gives me good tips & for helping him especially since he has to wear braces for his legs & we take things step by step. I love it & with him I see more growth & he should be walking soon.” - RR, Parent of CPT child
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