Helping our kids stay healthy and active this summer
May 18th, 2016 by Rob Armstrong
Did you know that Canadian kids spend just under 8 hours a day in front of a screen? That’s almost the same time parents spend at work! With a little over one month of school remaining, now is the time to start thinking about how your children will spend their summer.
Helping our kids lead healthy, active lifestyles can sometimes be challenging for families – especially during the summer months when kids may not benefit from programs they participate in during the school year.
YMCA Canada recently conducted an online survey among Canadian parents of children ages 18 and younger about their children’s development. Their insightful findings point to parents’ concerns and challenges in keeping their family on a healthy path.
According to the survey, Ontario parents acknowledge that there are barriers keeping them from leading a healthy active lifestyle, including: a lack of time (45%), work/life balance (39%) and energy or motivation (28%).
When it comes to their children’s healthy development, parents are most concerned about their children’s mental/emotional health (50%) followed by physical (28%) and social health (22%). Time and money are the main barriers holding Canadian parents back from leading healthy, active lifestyles with their family.
We know that planning is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, yet 75% of parents have not yet enrolled their children in programs for the summer. Even more alarming, 39% do not intend to sign their children up for programs over the summer, a time when the risk of learning loss, boredom and disengagement are high.
With more than 33% of Canadian children aged five to 17 being overweight, leading a healthy, active lifestyle should be a family priority driven by parents.
Your partner in nurturing healthy kids
The YMCA’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of Canadians, in body, mind and spirit. Our research has shown that there are many positive effects of belonging to the YMCA – people tell us they feel less alone, find it easier to make friends, and have better health.
We believe health is holistic and interconnected. It’s the power of community found through activity together and a supportive network that helps people achieve greater health in every way. For children, participation in organized, summer activities helps them make new friends, giving them a sense of belonging and confidence which boosts their energy levels and leads to more activity.
At the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, children are encouraged to take part in activities and camps that not only allow them to build skills in the arts, sports, leadership or recreation but to also learn soft skills such as listening, cooperation and team building. We offer summer programs that allow young people to excel in their area of interest while connecting them to caring adults who nurture their skills.
For many parents, the cost of sports and activities is holding them back from living a healthy active lifestyle. That’s why the YMCA is committed to making sure that a family’s financial situation is not a barrier to a child’s health by providing financial assistance to those who need it.
To learn more about the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka summer camps and how to keep your kids active and healthy this summer, please visit www.ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca/kids-camp/day-camps/.