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Focus On Fitness: Q & A with Jennifer Shu, M.D.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Q What is the Importance of hydration and how do I know If the children in my program are getting enough water and healthy fluids throughout the school day?

A Because children expend more energy on a daily basis than adults, they need more water. Fluid is vital for the proper functioning of nearly all bodily functions. Fortunately, most kids drink plenty of water and other liquids when they're thirsty, and so naturally tend to get as much hydration as their systems require. Still, dehydration in children can happen when kids play outside for long periods of time in unusually hot or dry conditions and sweat a lot, or when they're suffering from diarrhea. Dehydration can cause dizziness, weakness, dry mouth and lips, and a rapid heartbeat. Watch for these signs. On hot days or during strenuous activities, be sure to offer children frequent sips of water, watered-down juice, or sports drinks.

15- Minute Moves:

FRESH-AIR FUN

Warm weather means outside activity-here are two outdoor games that offer children valuable exercise opportunities:

  • Hoop hop: Put a plastic hula hoop on the ground, and have children hop (or jump, if they're too young to hop) in and out, all around the circle. Then, reverse direction and hop on the other foot
  • Rabbits and 'Roos: Pretending to be an animal is always a hit with toddlers and preschoolers. Ask them to jump like rabbits (lower to the ground, with small hops) or kangaroos (jumping as high and as far forward as they can).

Source: Rae Pica, children's physical activity specialist and author of A. Running Start How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child (Marlowe & Co., 2006). www.movingandleaming.com.

GREAT RESOURCE:

www.healthrock.com. Here's something W to sing about: a new Web site called Health Rock. Creator Dr. Mache Seibel (a.k.a. Dr. S.) put together his twin passions of health and music. The concept is simple: Kids can listen to brief ditties about nutrition, obesity, and more. Interactive games and a Q&A section round out the child-oriented portion of the site; teachers and parents can access short e-books on children's health topics.

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  • Subjects:
    Health and Safety, Exercise and Fitness, Teacher Tips and Strategies
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