You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Forecast Calls for Fun!
Get kids outdoors no matter the weather
(Family Features) Parents often keep a running list of rainy day activities, crafts and games to keep kids indoors when the forecast is soggy. But if your kids have never dodged raindrops, built a snowman or enjoyed a lazy summer afternoon outside, they’re missing out on something wonderful.
Weather was cited as the biggest barrier to getting kids outdoors by 61 percent of parents recently surveyed by the National Wildlife Federation. But the outdoor activities kids love, such as running, jumping, climbing, playing games with friends and taking nature walks, are a great strategy for keeping children healthy and happy.
“Children are safe to play outside in most kinds of weather barring the extremes,” said Lindsay Legendre, manager of the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement. “Regular outdoor play is so important to kids’ healthy development and a little rain shouldn’t stop them from being out there. Parents might enjoy puddle jumping again themselves.”
Bring on the Rain
Rain can sometimes be blamed for causing children to catch colds or flu, particularly when their hair or feet get wet. However, rain cannot make you sick. Dress children in waterproof hats, boots and raincoats to keep kids from getting too soggy. If storm conditions develop, get out of any body of water and seek shelter in a nearby building. Prepare for mud and splashes in advance by keeping a heavy mat and dry towels by the front door.
How hot is too hot?
When temperatures climb, make sure to have plenty of water available and take precautions, such as applying sunscreen and wearing loose clothing that is light in color. Try to schedule outdoor time during the early morning and evening, which are often the coolest part of the day.
In many areas, seasonal allergies are another challenge for parents to contend with in regard to outdoor play. Experts say, in addition to any allergy medications recommended by your pediatrician, there are steps you can take to help allergic kids enjoy the outdoors. Encourage kids to go outside in the early morning and evening when pollen counts are lower. Cool shades or sunglasses can prevent allergens from entering their eyes. Have them shower and wash their hair once they come back in.
Baby, it’s cold outside
Many moms and dads are reluctant to send kids outside when temperatures drop. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to dress kids in several thin layers to keep them dry and warm, including warm coats, boots, gloves and hats. It’s also important to set reasonable time limits on outdoor play and have children come inside periodically to warm up. And don’t forget the sunscreen, as sunlight, especially reflecting off snow, can cause burns.
“Kids should get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day, and it’s great if they can do so outside for the fresh air and more room to play,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician and author of Heading Home with Your Newborn.
For more tips and advice on getting kids outside, visit www.BeOutThere.org/Weather and www.BeOutThere.org. For more National Wildlife Federation news, visit: www.nwf.org/news.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
The 411: Youth Archives
FHS May students of the month (May 25, 2016)
FSE names conservation contest winners (May 25, 2016)
Guerrero named to Who’s Who (May 25, 2016)
Hernandez earns bachelor’s from SLU (May 25, 2016)
Medina graduates from Temple College (May 25, 2016)
Perez makes McMurry dean’s list (May 25, 2016)
Sara Strey Foundation names scholarship recipients (May 25, 2016)
Story Time begins June 6 (May 25, 2016)
TLU releases 2016 dean’s, president’s list (May 25, 2016)
Area students graduate from TAMU-Kingsville (May 18, 2016)
Area students named Father Moczygemba scholarship winners (May 18, 2016)
Beta Gamma Sigma inducts Lyssy (May 18, 2016)
Darr, Jarzombek initiated into Phi Kappa Phi (May 18, 2016)
East Central ACE team shares ideas with UTSA (May 18, 2016)
Falls City Library Summer Reading program (May 18, 2016)
Moore earn’s master’s from Mary Hardin-Baylor (May 18, 2016)
Nixon-Smiley students reach for the stars (May 18, 2016)
Perez is a McMurry University grad (May 18, 2016)
Stockdale Elementary School honor roll (May 18, 2016)
Tooth decay prevention kits (May 18, 2016)
4-H Rabies Clinic (May 11, 2016)
Apply to U.S. service academies (May 11, 2016)
LeAnn Yelton receives SSFCU scholarship (May 11, 2016)
LV Odyssey of the Mind teams claim state victory (May 11, 2016)
Poth Honor Rolls (May 11, 2016)
Rocketry teams are grand champions! (May 11, 2016)
SA Zoo celebrates military (May 11, 2016)
Stockdale Elementary School pre-k registration is May 19 (May 11, 2016)
Brothers face off in tie-breaker ‘bug-off’ (May 4, 2016)
Catch rising stars in action (May 4, 2016)
FHS April students of the month (May 4, 2016)
Fun, learning at AVID family night (May 4, 2016)
High School Art Show is May 14 (May 4, 2016)
Junior Historians demo ecology for Earth Day (May 4, 2016)
Register for 4-H summer camps (May 4, 2016)
Register now for May 14 Archery Day (May 4, 2016)