Friday, May 13, 2011

Get Moving Kids- Tips for Children with Chronic Illness

Summer is coming and warm weather is a great time to get off the couch and get moving. Kids need to move, even kids who are dealing with a chronic or long term illness. The key is to monitor activity and to be on the look out for signs of trouble. Here are a few tips:

  • Allow  chronically ill children to engage in physical activities that they enjoy and can tolerate. This means that you monitor your child for signs that the activity is too much but that you also allow age appropriate activities if your child is able. It gives them a sense of normalcy
  • Keep your child hydrated. Provide water and power drinks like Gatorade for those hot days. Avoid sugary drinks and soda as those can add to dehydration
  • Have fruit and snacks available to keep blood sugar levels normal and to help avoid nausea
  • Encourage periods of rest
  • Don't hover. Children who are chronically ill need to feel normal. Try to avoid pampering and hovering. Just be there to provide support.
Watch for signs of pain, swelling, vomiting, fever, shortness of breath, or distress that may mean your child is overdoing an activity for the disease. Check with your child's physician before beginning a sport or strenuous activity to make sure it will be safe for your child. Avoid allowing activities that your child is too weak to currently participate in. Look for activities that will promote socialization yet limit strain if your child is too ill.

Generally speaking, your child will be able to determine what activities he or she is up to doing. Let them be your guide. The way they look and act can help you to decide if today is a good day for getting off the couch or if today is a day of rest. If a child is up to doing an activity that he or she loves to do, the exercise may help the overall health and feeling of well being so enjoy the moment. If in doubt, don't hesitate to ask your health care provider for advice.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Good post. I have chronic pain but I would never wish it on a child or anyone else for that matter. Those are good notes for parents.