Spring Break is a wonderful time to welcome warmer weather, take a break from school and reconnect with the family. The extra time can be a chance to prepare for summer by visiting an urgent care center for needed physicals for summer camp and other activities, which will be here before we know it.
Children may view a break from school as a chance to sleep in (which is fine to an extent) and lay around the house playing video games and being on their devices. It can be tempting to fall into that comfortable setting, but it is better for them to keep active. Being outside in fresh air with activities that raise breathing and heart rates, as well as strengthen muscles and bones is the best thing you can do for your children during break.
Of course playing outside isn’t without its risks. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children 0 to 19 years of age. Every day approximately 8,000 children are treated for fall-related injuries, which totals almost 2.8 million each year.
More than 200,000 children 14 and under are treated for playground related injuries each year, according to the CDC. So first – make sure that the equipment and surrounding area are safe. All surfaces should be soft and energy absorbent, such as wood chips, sand, mats or shredded rubber – and well-maintained. Dirt and grass do not provide adequate protection from a fall. You want to allow children to have the freedom to have fun, but young children should always be supervised around playground equipment.
This can be a great time for the family to explore area trails and other nature areas. Even on cloudy days though, sunscreen is a must for outside play. Along with the pretty flowers, more bugs are coming out, so be sure to have bug spray handy. Spring flowers and budding trees also bring allergies, so be sure to take precautions before heading out. Protective gear is a must for all sports and activities including biking, skating and skateboarding. Don’t “head” out without a helmet.
If staying at the house, but outside on a trampoline, make sure to supervise to ensure safe fun. Nobody should be doing flips or somersaults, due to the risk of head and neck injuries. The majority of trampoline injuries come from landing improperly while jumping, being struck by another person, falling off or landing on the springs or frame. All participants should give each other plenty of room and know where they are on the trampoline.
Not every day will be sunny and bright and you’ll want to be safe when playing inside as well. Check all window screens and guards, which may have been ignored or loosened during the winter. Remember to have gates up for the little ones to avoid stair injuries. Ask for your children’s extra help in cleaning up their toys to avoid trips over cars and Legos.
Cooking and baking healthy treats together can be a fun indoor activity with children. Make sure they know kitchen safety, including staying away from any hot surfaces on the stove and oven. And after clean up, keep the dishwasher closed to avoid any accidents with children and/or pets.
Have a safe and fun Spring Break!