Keep cabin fever at bay this winter
The bitter cold forces even the most hardy to head indoors this winter. With school cancellations, children are kept home and indoors. So what can parents do to keep young minds entertained?
There are plenty of fun indoor activities to keep children fit and healthy while kicking that case of cabin fever out into the cold.
Many times, parents turn on the television to keep children entertained when school gets cancelled. However, experts say this is not always the best idea.
“Set time limits for TV watching, computer use and video games,” says Dr. Jacklin Janecek, a pediatrician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill. “This should be no more than one to two hours of viewing for children older than two.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no television at all for children under the age of 2. Without the TV on, kids can then be more creative and have fun with activities they may not normally think of doing, Dr. Janacek says.
“Board games, crafts, art, baking, reading, or staging a picnic indoors are great ways to keep your children occupied,” Dr. Janecek says. “You can also setup obstacle courses in the house, or create scavenger hunts to keep them active.”
Keeping your kids active during the cold months is just as important as it is during the warmer time of the year, she says.
“Use the Winter Olympics as a way to get them interested and involved in activities like ice skating, ice hockey, snowboarding and cross country or downhill skiing,” Dr. Janecek says.
Staying active throughout the entire year is key to fighting childhood obesity and other health problems that come from inactivity, she says.
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