Exercise for Children With Disabilities: a Few Things Parents Should Know

If your child has a disability, you already know that tasks which seem everyday for many parents can feel like insurmountable obstacles. A disability can complicate things. Daily tasks such as showering, eating, or cleaning up a bedroom can be incredibly difficult for a child with a disability. Exercise, in particular, can be a hard routine to break into. Doctors recommend that children get their hearts pumping every day, but that’s often easier said than done.

 

But there’s lots of hope. Kids with disabilities often overcome enormous odds to achieve their goals, and with your support, your child get the exercise he or she needs. Here are a few ideas for parents to help a child with a disability to get active.

Listen to the Doctor

First of all, it is absolutely crucial that you follow the advice of your child’s doctor. Physicians tend to have a range of experience with patients of many abilities, and they likely have some useful things to recommend, both for and against. Take notes at appointments, ask questions, and take home any pamphlets you’re given to read later.

 

If the doctor recommends a physical therapy regimen, make sure your child completes it as written as often as recommended. Physical therapy can be the essential element that prevents a condition from worsening over the course of a person’s life.

 

Similarly, avoid any exercise the doctor recommends against. Burning a couple calories won’t be helpful if it leads to long-term harm. If you’re unsure whether or not an activity will be accessible, look it up ahead of time and ask questions.

Find Kids With Similar Disabilities

Lots of kids have disabilities. And most communities offer a host of resources with which parents can connect and encourage meetups between their kids. For a child with a disability, meeting another young person with the same or similar condition can be deeply empowering and inspiring.

 

Exercise will be a lot more fun for your child if he or she is able to do it with other people. Because disabilities so frequently involve physical restrictions, many disabled people can have a tough time working out with other children, many of whom will not understand those physical restrictions.

 

On the other hand, many children with disabilities can do just fine—and even excel—at physical activities with nondisabled children. Additionally, some children with disabilities may feel excluded and “fenced off” if prevented from participating from the events that other kids do. So seek out others with similar conditions, but be careful you don’t make your child feel alienated.

Let Your Child Go at Their Own Pace

Don’t push your kid too hard. Exercise can be a challenge for anyone, and disabilities make things just that much harder. Encourage your young one, but accept limits and avoid shaming your child by making unrealistic demands. And remember that if you really want him or her to begin a lifelong exercise habit, you’ll have more success if you let it be fun.

 

And, of course, if your kid wants to go that extra mile, encourage it! Hard work is its own rewarding, and accomplishing a tricky goal can be hugely empowering to someone with a disability. Positivity is power!

 

7 Tips for Pool and Water Park Safety

pool safety

If you like the water and being outdoors, swimming can be one of the most fun summertime activities. It’s something the entire family can enjoy. Beautiful weather and freer schedules for kids out of school for the summer often means a lot of time spent at the pool or water parks. While both of these are awesome options for a day off in the summer, it’s important to keep safety in mind. In order to make the most out of your water-filled day in the sun, you’ll obviously want to do your best to prevent any accidents or injuries from occurring. Check out these 7 tips for staying safe at the pool or water park this summer.

  1. Stay Alert

First and foremost, it’s important than parents and guardians everywhere keep an eye on their kids at all times. Drowning can occur in a split-second, so make sure you don’t lose sight of your kids. Don’t try to use this time to multitask.

  1. Don’t Neglect the Sunscreen

Put sunscreen on everyone before even leaving the house. Apply religiously throughout the day, especially for toddlers.

  1. Agree on a Meeting Place

Especially if you’re at a water park, it can be a great idea to agree on a meeting place with the rest of your group. If something happens and one or a couple of you get separated, it can be so beneficial to agree on a place to find each other.

  1. Obey the Rules

Usually one of the first rules of the pool or water park is No Running. According to New York slip and fall accident lawyer, David Resnick & Associates, slip and fall injuries are the most common claims in premises liability lawsuits. There will most likely be lifeguards on duty, but don’t just leave it up to them to make sure your kids are following the rules. Don’t be afraid to yell ‘No Running’ at one point or another. Remember that the rules are in place for you and your kids’ safety.

  1. Bring a Hat and Loose Shirt

Hats are always a good idea – not only will they help keep the sun out of your eyes, but they’ll also help it stay off of your face as well. In case you end up getting a little bit too much sun exposure, you might want to have a loose shirt as well. Keep track of how much sun your kids are getting, especially toddlers.

  1. Understand the Danger of Drains

Drain covers or grates are such an easy place for a piece of clothing, jewelry or hair to get stuck. If the suction is too powerful, it’s possible that a child could get stuck under water. Make sure you teach your children the importance of staying away from drains.  

  1. Stay Educated

Take the time to make sure everyone in your family knows how to swim. Swim lessons are a great idea just to be safe. Additionally, you might take a CPR class so that you’ll know what to do in case of emergency.