Why parents need to keep thier infants and toddlers active

Infants and toddlers are individuals under 5 years old. Individuals in this age group are at a critical and vulnerable stage, and thus need a healthy start. One way to get a healthy start is by keeping them active. The importance of keeping your child active is captured in the seven points below.

  1. How fast your child learns to move any part of his or her body can be improved by keeping the child active. This is because physical activity is associated with strengthening of muscles, and building skeletal endurance and strength, which improve movement skills, coordination, agility and balance.
  1. A child who engages in physical activities is more likely to learn more about his or her environment and general knowledge. In the end, the child may do better in school work. Keeping your child active also helps in cognitive development and this will improve later school performance. Performing better in school or all lifelong learning activities will increase the child’s chances of becoming a high achiever or successful person in future, something parents desire for their children.
  1. As parents, one of the best gifts we can give children is a healthy heart to start life. Cardiovascular endurance is associated with being physically active. This means that by keeping a child active, parents are giving the child a healthy heart to start life.
  1. Maintaining a healthy weight in children is very important as it reduces childhood obesity, which has negative future health outcomes. Keeping your child active will improve his or her body composition, and also reduce the amount of time spent being sedentary, one of the factors associated with childhood obesity.
  1. By engaging your child in physical activities, you are building their interest and love for staying active, and becoming less sedentary in their later years. This helps them to prevent disease, protects their health, and teaches them to make healthy lifestyle choices in future.
  1. Engaging your child in physical activities will make them happy. Through physical activity, your child can learn to be confident and play with other children. It will also improve your child’s understanding and language development. All these will consequently improve the social development of your child helping him or her to make friends, relate with people and integrate smoothly into any new environment like a new school.

Engaging your child in physical activities will also improve sleeping time and quality. This helps to rest their body. The added advantage is that it also improves your sleeping time and quality since your child won’t wake up and interrupt your sleep.

Related articles: How much physical activity does my child need, Caring for infants and toddlers 

Last page review: 22/03/2016
Next page review: 22/03/2018

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