Active Healthy Kids and Outdoor Play- Preparing for Life’s Little Mishaps

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Preparing for Life’s Little Mishaps While Engaging Your Kids in Outdoor Play

“Play, Incorporating Animistic and Magical Thinking Is Important Because It:
Fosters the healthy, creative and emotional growth of a child; Forms the best foundation for later intellectual growth. Provides a way in which children get to know the world and creates possibilities for different ways of responding to it. Fosters empathy and wonder.”  – Rachel Carson, “A Sense of Wonder

Engage your kids in outdoor play, and be prepared for any mishaps.

There’s nothing better than the sound of kids playing outdoors. Kids playing outside making up their own games can bring them a lot joy and can be great exercise.

With all the technology that surrounds us today, it’s great to see kids playing in the park, and in their backyards.

It’s no secret that outdoor play and fresh air are great for kids overall physical and emotional well-being. In fact, a study in the journal Pediatrics concludes that children ages 8 and 9 who had more than 15 minutes of recess had better classroom behavior. This study suggests that school children in this age group should be provided with daily recess.

If you’re looking for some ideas to help keep your kids playing outside, Disney lists ‘10 Fun Outdoor Games for Kids.’ From Big Foot Relay to Pick Pocket Tag to Name-It Ball, you’ll find some ideas here that will keep your kids active.

My tips to help you be proactive

Be prepared for life’s little mishaps.

As the saying goes, kids will be kids. You never know when a fall or a bump on the head may land them in the ER. Even with a watchful eye, sometimes things are bound to happen. But don’t let this interfere with your child’s free-play.  Being prepared can help you navigate the ER maze and can lessen your anxiety knowing you have all the necessary information at your fingertips.

Always carry a list of your children’s medications and their medical history with you.

The emergency room can be scary and answering the simplest questions can be difficult. Having everything written down makes it easy for the doctors and nurses to get an accurate health history. You’ll still need to answer questions by the staff, but having your updated medication list and medical history list with you can be a life saver.

Where can you find a medical history form?

There are some sites where you can create a small information card. However, some people are on so many medications that the small size isn’t sufficient. If your child is on an inhaler for asthma make sure you include it on the medical form. Does your child take any medications for ADHD? Does your child have allergies? What type? Food? Or man made? Be specific. Do they have any past hospital admissions? This is just some of the information you need to include. For a 6×4 size that you can simply carry in a photo wallet, I’ve created one for you (Download the personal medical history and medication card).  Simply print, complete and carry. Keep a list for you, your kids, spouse or significant other, parents and grandparents. It’s great for college students as well. Men can simply fold and carry in a small wallet.

Consent to treat form can be found here.

Parents, in case you’re not with your child at the time of the mishap, you can give your caregiver a consent-to-treat form. In case of an emergency, having a notarized consent-to-treat form signed by the child’s caregiver will prevent treatment from being delayed. Of course any life-threatening illnesses or injuries are always top priority, but for a non-critical case, having the proper forms will help expedite the process. Find the consent-to-treat form at, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Web site. (A friendly reminder, for any non-threatening life emergency, even with a consent-to-treat form it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be seen right away. Your child will be triaged by the nurse.)

My original post, “Preparing for Life’s Little Mishaps While Engaging Your Kids in Outdoor Play” is published on Kinetics, Carol Torgan, PhD’s blog.

Read the full post here>

[Image:  iStockphoto]

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