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Get Your Kids Moving This Summer

Get Your Kids Moving This Summer

Local Pediatrician Offers Tips for Staying Active and Healthy

The school year has ended and that means your kids will probably have a lot more time on their hands. It’s important to get them moving this summer so they don’t spend it screen-addicted.

“Kids need physical activity,” said Dr. Bhaskari Peela, a Fremont pediatrician, part of Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF). “You need to figure out ways to keep them active. The first step is to set a screen limit.”

She said limiting the time kids spend on their phones and in front of the computer and TV is necessary because they have a hard time self-regulating, and too much screen time is not good for their health.

“When kids get away from their phones and computers, they find things to do,” she added. “Kids have the best intentions, but they get sucked in. They start playing video games or looking at social media, and they have no sense of time. You have to step in and set limits.”

There are plenty of activities that can keep kids occupied, regardless of your budget. Encourage your kids to get outside and play, and give them toys that promote physical activity like basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes and bicycles. In the Tri-City Area, summer camps through city recreation departments may offer options for families.

Staying Safe

Bicycle riding and skateboarding are great ways to stay active, but it’s important to wear protective gear. Dr. Peela recommends wearing a helmet with any activity where you could crash into pavement, including bike and scooter riding, skateboarding, and roller skating or blading. She also said elbow and knee pads should be worn for skateboarding and roller blading.

“You don’t want to be so obsessed with injury that you don’t let your kids be active,” she added. “But you do need to supervise and take the proper safety precautions.”

Most minor cuts, scrapes and bruises can be treated with ice, soap and water, and over-the-counter creams and ointments. If your child has a deep, dark bruise that appears within a couple hours or has intense pain that doesn’t subside after an hour, you should seek medical attention and, Dr. Peela warns, you should always take head injuries seriously.

“Anything other than a minor head bang against a wall should be checked,” she added. “If your child has a head injury, you should go straight to the emergency room.”

Family Affair

“Staying active can be part of your family routine,” Dr. Peela notes. “Now that summer is here, the days are longer and there is plenty of time after work to do some physical activity with your kids.” Dr. Peela suggests taking your kids out for an evening walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Weekends could include longer bike rides and hikes, or visits to a local museum. There are hundreds of local parks, gardens and beaches that are accessible to Bay Area families.

Fourth Graders Qualify for National Park Passes

The Federal Land Management launched the Every Kid Outdoors Initiative which provides free passes for children in the fourth grade and their families to visit national parks, forests, landmarks and water ways throughout the United States. Information can be found on the National Park Foundation website,

Safety Reminders

Outdoor time brings risk of sunburns or bug bites. Be sure to use and reapply sun screen and if going to be outdoors at dusk, bug repellant is a good idea.

Some relaxing is good too

“While it’s important to get your kids active, some amount of lounging around is fine,” says Dr. Peela. “Remember, it’s called a summer break for a reason. You don’t need to keep kids booked all day, every day. Just make sure they get out of the house and moving for at least a few hours each day.”

Visit for information about services offered through the Washington Township Medical Foundation. Visit for information on local trails and many upcoming activities.