Activate Your Kiddos

Activate Your Kiddos

happy child running

As adults, we want the best for our children and that means general well-being and physical fitness.  So with the disturbing childhood obesity rate in the United States, it its important to keep children active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. This article from the Mayo Clinic helps suggest ways to get your child out there and active. 

After choosing an activity with your child, it is important to practice that activity safely and address injuries properly.  KT Tape is safe for use on active people of all ages and can offer the same kind of support and benefits for children as adults.  We do recommend consulting a KT Tape trained professional and your family doctor before use.  A doctor will let you know whether an injury is more serious than you and your child originally thought and needs special medical attention rather than kinesiology therapeutic taping.

Here are the tips from the Mayo Clinic:  

  • Consider age-appropriate activities
    • Ages 2 to 5 - Toddlers and preschoolers are beginning to master many basic movements, but they are too young for most types of organized sports.  at this age, unstructured free play is usually best.  Try: Running, Climbing, Kicking, Tumbling, Dancing, Playing catch with a lightweight ball, Pedaling a tricycle or bike with training wheels, Supervised water play.  
    • Ages 6 to 7 - As children get older, their coordination and attention spans improve.  They're also better able to follow directions and understand the concept of teamwork.  Consider organized activities such as: T-ball, softball or baseball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, golf, track and field, martial arts.  
    • Ages 8 and older - By age 8, most sports - including contact sports - may be acceptable, as long as your child wears appropriate protective gear.  Carefully supervised strength training is OK at this age too. Of course, organized athletics aren't the only option for fitness.  If your child doesn't seem interested in sports, find other physical activities.  Take family bike rides, check out local hiking trails or visit indoor climbing walls.  Encourage activity time with friends, such as jumping rope, shooting baskets or playing tag.  
  • Compare the Options - If several sports are available in your community, allow your child to sample a range of activities before settling on one or two - perhaps both team sports and individual sports.  When you're comparing sports consider the following:
    • Amount and cost of equipment
    • Amount of physical contact
    • Emphasis on individual skill vs. team performance
    • Opportunity for each child to participate
    • Amount of time parents and child must devote to the sport. Also consider the child's schedule.  Children who are already signed up for music lessons or other activities may feel overwhelmed if athletics are added to the mix. 
    • Above all however, make sure your child really wants to play.  Organized athletics have many benefits, but a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to include sports.  What is most important is helping your child realize that physical activity is fun.  
  • Stay involved: As your child tries various sports, stay involved.  Consider:
    • Team assignments: are the children grouped according to physical maturity and skill level?
    • Coaching quality:  look for an emphasis on safety and participation,  Does the coach require that players follow the rules and use proper safety equipment?  Do players take time to warm up and cool down before and after each practice or event?  In hot weather, does the coach pay attention to hydration and temperature?  Are children taught proper movement and body positioning?  Does everyone have a chance to play?
    • Coaching Style:  Also consider a coach's attitude toward the game.  I fa coach consistently yells at the children or lets only the most skilled players into the game, your child may become discouraged.  Be aware of a win-at-all-costs attitude.

kids soccer team with coach

Overall, be positive and encouraging.  Emphasize effort and improvement over winning or personal performance.  Attend events and practices as your schedule allows, and act as a good model of sportsmanship yourself.  Whether your child swims, runs track or plays catch in the backyard, keep your eye on the long-term goal - a lifetime of physical activity.

Also set a good example of good physical activity.  If your child sees that you are active they will be more likely be inclined to do the same.   KT Tape is a big advocate for a more physically fit America and helping our children learn better habits at a young age will transcend into healthy teenagers and then healthy adults.  So get out there and play!

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