Last year was rough on many levels. The pandemic hit, closing down businesses and so many entertainment options. Our children were required to attend school online for most of the year. Everyone did their best to adapt to strange state mandates to stay home as much as possible and limit get-togethers with friends and family. Unfortunately, these abrupt changes in activities led children to have a more sedentary lifestyle.
Dr. Matthew Oetgen, Division Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Children’s National Hospital in D.C., believes the continuous virtual schooling and decline in ordinary day-to-day physical functions has impacted the health of children and adolescents.
“…I think we didn’t really know how important normal … activity was for kids, carrying backpacks, going up and down stairs at school, getting up and out in the morning, sports and gym class; [they all] seem to be so important for the normal health and well being of kids [and] … their baseline physical conditioning,” states Dr. Oetgen. Despite seeing an increase in aches, pain and stiffness in children, Dr. Oetgen offers a simple solution to parents: “…we are very much encouraging all kids get involved in some sort of extra activity to regain their strength, flexibility and activity.” What better way to help our children begin the reconditioning process to improve physical mobility, strength and stamina than through camps?
Camps have added extra measures to assure everyone’s safety, including face mask requirements, increased sanitation of surfaces and public areas, separate equipment for children, six-foot social distancing whenever possible and handwashing stations, to name a few. Even though summer camps are ready to normalize lives that have been anything but normal in the last year, it’s important to note that all information is subject to change per state mandates to align with current CDC guidelines for the coronavirus. Be sure to check the websites for up-to-date summer camp details.
Washington Parent offers parents many great options to help your child keep on moving with summer camps during COVID – check out the Camp Guide in this issue of the magazine or visit the guide online at washingtonparent.com/summer-camp.