COVID-19 and Injury: Staying physically active

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Even though sports and extracurricular activities have been cancelled, there are still lots of ways that you and your family can stay active! Physical activity is good for your physical and mental well-being.

Outdoor Play Canada and the WHO have some recommendations for physical activity. PLAYBuilder has great ideas on activities you can do with your kids at home.

BCIRPU’s Drs. Shelina Babul and Shazya Karmali recently wrote an op-ed on staying active while social distancing for Postmedia.

Some safety tips:

  • Practice good sun and heat safety to avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration. The BC Centre for Disease Control has some good tips on their website.
    • Take it slow with outdoor activities – rest and relax often if you feel fatigued.
    • Keep kids hydrated and bring extra water, encourage little ones to frequently sip.
    • Make sure you have enough sunscreen, sun hats, and sunglasses for the family.
    • Keep long hair tied up to allow air to evaporate sweat.
  • Playgrounds might be closed, but backyard play structures can also pose a risk. The most common injuries among kids 0-14 years-old are fractures.1
  • Home playground equipment is lighter than public playground equipment. Whether you buy or build a playground set, make sure it is properly assembled and anchored.2
  • If you’re bringing out the wading pool or swimming pool, don’t leave your kids unattended. A young child can drown in as little as 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of water in just seconds.3
  • A concussion can happen even if your kids are only cycling close to home. Ensure your child wears an approved helmet (look for the CSA, EN, ASTM, CPSC or Snell B90/B95 approved sticker), which is properly fitted and strapped up.
  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Learn more at http://cattonline.com/.
  • Considering buying a trampoline to keep the kids entertained? Most trampoline injuries occur at home in the spring and summer months among children aged 7 to 11-years-old.4
  • Read the Canadian Pediatric Society’s position and safety tips on trampolines.
  • If you already have a trampoline in your backyard, remember to:5
    • Have only one child jumping at a time
    • Avoid “tricks” such as somersaults and flips
    • Do not jump onto or off the trampoline
  1. Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), Ministry of Health, BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT), 2014-2016.
  2. Parachute. Built Playgrounds. Accessed from: https://parachute.ca/en/injury-topic/playgrounds-and-play-spaces/built-playgrounds/
  3. Parachute. Play Time. Accessed from: https://parachute.ca/en/injury-topic/home-safety/play-time/
  4. BCIRPU. Trampoline-related emergency room visits (March 2015). Accessed from https://www.injuryresearch.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/II-March-2015.pdf
  5. Caring for Kids. Are recreational trampolines safe? (Jan 2017) Accessed from: https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/home_trampolines
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