With school being out for summer, parents from across the greater Phoenix community—along with parents from pretty much the entire nation—are trying to figure out how to keep their kids occupied until schools open again in the fall.
Fortunately, local parents have many options for Gilbert Summer Activities.
Of course, the key for making sure kids are able to capitalize on those options is taking measures to ensure they have optimal foot health. We’ll discuss child foot care in a bit, but let’s start with highlighting possible summer activity options.
Gilbert Summer Activities
Starting very locally, our Gilbert Parks and Recreation Department works hard to offer many programs and classes all year long – and especially during the summer months.
It’s a little late to register youth for this year’s summer sports, but this is an option you might want to keep in mind for 2019 (and beyond!). At this time, Gilbert’s Parks and Rec organizes and hosts a variety of baseball, softball, and volleyball leagues for children of various ages.
(Whereas summer leagues aren’t an option, registration for fall opportunities opens at the end of July!)
Beyond sports, the department offers interactive learning experiences for younger children who are still considered to be in early childhood (ages 2-6 years). These experiences are designed to help young ones start gaining independence and develop their social skills.
For older children and teens, there are programs geared towards providing opportunities to learn new skills by exploring and trying out various activities.
Now, programs for our community’s youth are outstanding options, but so too are the fun events offered for the whole family. You and your family can spend quality time together, and possibly even make some new friends in the process!
Taking a broader perspective, an activity children really enjoy—and one that promotes healthy dietary choices—is to pick fresh produce at Apple Annie’s Orchard out in Willcox. The orchard opens in July and here is a calendar providing estimated harvest dates.
You might not be aware of this, but Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale is the largest butterfly conservatory in the world. In addition to featuring over 3,000 butterflies, visitors can learn about honeybees, rainforest reptiles, tropical waters of the world, and so much more. As an educational experience that children will actually enjoy, this conservatory is a fantastic option for your child’s summer vacation!
Another outstanding nearby option is OdySea in the Desert, which offers many attractions, exhibits, and events sure to delight both the young and the “young at heart” alike. Parts of OdySea include:
- Dolphinaris Arizona. At Dolphinaris, children have the opportunity to interact with dolphins and learn about these amazing aquatic mammals.
- OdySea Aquarium. This is another wonderful local resource that enables youth to learn about sea creatures and gain a greater appreciation for underwater life.
- Pangaea: Land of the Dinosaurs. Given their “extinct” status, dinosaurs have a special appeal to young, imaginative minds. Pangaea further fans the flames of dinosaur interest to learn about these prehistoric reptiles that once ruled the land, sea, and air.
To this point, most of the summer activity options have been centered on educational experiences or healthy eating, but sometimes kids just need to be kids. When they do—and are in need of escape from our summer heat—it just might be time to take the family to Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix.
Water parks are a great way to cool off and have some thrilling fun – and this means we are pretty lucky to have Wet ‘n’ Wild as an option that’s not too far away!
Child Foot Health for Virtually Unlimited Activity Options
If there’s one thing all parents have in common, it’s this – above anything else, you just want your children to be healthy and happy.
Well, you might not think about this much, but their feet play a significant role in both health and happiness!
Between the two—health and happiness—it’s more readily apparent to see how child foot care contributes to health. After all, taking the proper measures can reduce a child’s risk of developing problems like ingrown toenails, blisters, and plantar warts.
So foot health is fairly easy to understand, but how does this relate to a child’s happiness?
Take a moment to think about activities children enjoy (at least, ones that don’t entail staring at a screen for hours on end!).
In all likelihood, you’ll be thinking about kids at play, running around either through organized sporting activities or in their own made-up games. Play is actually an incredibly important part of development during our young years.
Of course, it’s hard to run around and be active when foot problems are in the picture and causing pain. Even without factoring in sports, it is still quite difficult to walk around picking peaches or spending time with dolphins if foot pain is present.
You probably want your child to have as many options and opportunities as possible. As such, you will want to make sure you’re helping them learn smart foot care practices. This is especially important because establishing good habits at an early age can help your sons and daughters avoid serious problems later in life.
This is all rather logical, so the question becomes – what do you need to do to protect your children’s feet?
Well, following some basic child foot care tips will help keep your children healthy and able to enjoy their favorite activities. These include:
- Provide properly-fitting footwear. Many issues can develop when shoes are either too big or too small. A well-fitting pair reduces the risk of foot and ankle problems.
- Encourage physical activity. Regular exercises and sports participation keep the lower limbs strong, flexible, and less prone to certain injuries and conditions.
- Encourage daily hygiene. Make sure your children give some attention to their feet when bathing or showering. Mild soap and warm water can help wash away potential contaminants.
- Trim their toenails correctly. Too often, improper nail trimming leads to cases of ingrown toenails, which can be painful. The main problem is toenails that are trimmed too short or are rounded off. You might round off fingernails, but toenails should be clipped straight across and kept roughly even with the edge of the toes.
- Have them rest. Being active is important for young bodies, especially in this world of on-demand entertainment and video games. Kids need to be out playing and getting exercise, but sometimes this is taken too far. Year-round participation in a sport, or too much activity, can actually increase injury risk in the lower limbs. You can help reduce the risk by not having your child focus only on one sport. Doing other activities will also lead to great overall wellness and fitness.
- Bring your son or daughter in to see our medical staff at the earliest signs of an existing issue. As is the case with most medical concerns, foot problems are often easiest addressed and treated in their early stages. Additionally, we can provide tips and information to help the problem from occurring again.
No matter which of your family members are in need of exceptional podiatric services, Pediatric Foot & Ankle can provide the care they need – so give us a call at (480) 497-3946 or contact our Gilbert, AZ office online today!