It’s hot but kids still need to exercise

Dehydration and Heat Illness

With the hot days of summer come summer sports — baseball, tennis, football practice — both in the neighborhood and at camp. Before you send the kids out to practice — or just for a long day of play in the sun — learn to protect your child against the dangers of dehydration and heat illness. WebMD turned to Albert C. Hergenroeder, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of the sports medicine clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital, for answers to parents’ common questions.

1. What puts my child at risk for dehydration?

The same things that put you at risk for dehydration: prolonged exposure to high temperatures, direct sun, and high humidity, without sufficient rest and fluids. The difference is that a child’s body surface area makes up a much greater proportion of his overall weight than an adult’s, which means children face a much greater risk of dehydration and heat-related illness

2. What signs of dehydration should we watch for?

Early signs of dehydration include fatigue, thirst, dry lips and tongue, lack of energy, and feeling overheated. But if kids wait to drink until they feel thirsty, they’re already dehydrated. Thirst doesn’t really kick in until a child has lost 2% of his or her body weight as sweat.

3. What can I do to prevent dehydration in my child?

Make sure they drink cool water early and often. Send your child out to practice or play fully hydrated. Then, during play, make sure your child takes regular breaks to drink fluid, even if your child isn’t thirsty. A good size drink for a child, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is 5 ounces of cold tap water for a child weighing 88 pounds, and nine ounces for a teen weighing 132 pounds. One ounce is about two kid-size gulps.

Know that dehydration is cumulative. If your child is 1% or 2% dehydrated on Monday and doesn’t drink enough fluids that night, then gets 1% or 2% dehydrated again on Tuesday, that means your child is 3% or 4% dehydrated at the end of the day. “They may be gradually developing a problem, but it won’t show up for several days,” says Hergenroeder. “You should always monitor your child’s hydration.” One way to do this: weigh your child before and after practice. If his weight drops, he’s not drinking enough during his workout.

A simple rule of thumb: if your child’s urine is dark in color, rather than clear or light yellow, he or she may be becoming dehydrated.

4. If my child develops heat illness, what can I do to treat it?

The first thing you should do with any heat illness is get the child out of the sun into a cool, comfortable place. Have the child start drinking plenty of cool fluids. The child should also take off any excess layers of clothing or bulky equipment. You can put cool, wet cloths on overheated skin. In cases of heat cramps, gentle stretches to the affected muscle should relieve the pain.

5. Is it ever too hot for my child to practice or play sports?

A growing number of athletic programs suggest that it is sometimes too hot to practice. In fact, many are restricting outdoor practice when the National Weather Service’s heat index rises above a certain temperature. The heat index, measured in degrees Fahrenheit, is an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity is added to the actual temperature.

You may consider martial arts in an air-conditioned center during the hot days of summer. Visit our website www.4GKSkillz.com for information on how your child can join our Patchogue Martial Arts classes.

Helping 5 and 6 Year Old Kids Build Focus

Today I wanted to spend a few moments and talk about “Focus”. Not only is this one of our Basic SKILLZ ninjas skills that they practice in class but it is also a skill that they are still learning to cultivate at their stage of development, so they may be great sometimes and struggle at other times. Focus is an important skill to master in order to do well in school and excel in life. Continue reading “Helping 5 and 6 Year Old Kids Build Focus”

SKILLZ Age Specific Pre-Evaluations: Setting your child up for success before they even begin

Hey, 4GK Families!

As you know, 4GK Martial Arts is committed to bringing you the BEST in Age Specific Martial Arts! Dwindling are the days of the dungeon dojo and authoritative discipline that many who grew up in the martial arts have come to expect.

As times change it is important to recognize that what once worked in the “good ‘ol days” isn’t what works here in 2017. As with any growing industry, the leaders must adapt and learn from new science and new technology for one main reason (in my opinion):

To learn, innovate and apply so that we may pass on the proven benefits to our customers, students, YOU!

One way that 4GK Martial Arts is able to do so is through the use of our Pre-Evaluations! That 15 minute evaluation that each student receives before jumping into our group classes is one of our most powerful tools! But, how? Continue reading “SKILLZ Age Specific Pre-Evaluations: Setting your child up for success before they even begin”

Protect Your Heart with Martial Arts

Valentine’s Day has just passed, but February is still all about the heart. Every year, the American Heart Association celebrates Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease and heart health. What you may not know is that martial arts are great for the heart. In fact, the cardiac benefits of martial arts give a whole new meaning to the idea of cardiovascular fitness. With that in mind, here are some ways that taking martial arts classes can protect and strengthen your heart. Continue reading “Protect Your Heart with Martial Arts”

Why Core Strength Is So Important

If you’ve listened to the buzz around the fitness world lately or perused the latest workout books, you’ve probably heard the experts referencing core fitness in some shape or form. Traditionally, strength training has been dominated by exercises focused on isolating the muscles of the arms and legs. In fact, if you look at many of the weight machines that have become popular in modern gyms, you’ll notice that they require you to sit or recline while you use them.

While these machines will effectively help you build the muscles that they target, the problem is that, in real life, we don’t use our muscles that way. Continue reading “Why Core Strength Is So Important”

Introducing the Mini SKILLZ Program!

During 18 to 36 months of age, children’s’ skill development moves very fast. Their brains are growing rapidly, language is blooming, and motor skills are advancing. At the same time, thinking becomes more developed, and their social and emotional skills enable them to interact with more people. With that said, this is the ideal age to begin participation in structured group activities, such as Mini SKILLZ. We’ve done extensive research on the stages of development for children this age, and from that information have built a fun and exciting program that is just right for both the child and their guardian.
Continue reading “Introducing the Mini SKILLZ Program!”

Introducing the Extreme SKILLZ Program!

Ten to fourteen-year olds are the smartest students in the school. Yes, they are smarter than most adults! They are also physically competent and can excel in most physical challenges that are presented to them. The problem we discovered is they are so focused on what is socially acceptable that they have a hard time keeping themselves emotionally driven to the task at hand. The solution we found is to provide them with their own program that targets their stage of development in a manner that nurtures their social and emotional instability while at the same time building skills that set them up for success. With that said a structured program introducing extreme skill-based training in Martial Arts has proven to be very successful.

Continue reading “Introducing the Extreme SKILLZ Program!”

Tips on Bullying

One of the biggest concerns from parents during the back-to-school season is bullying. Some 160,000 kids skip school every day because they fear of being attacked or ridiculed by bullies. The good news is that these disturbing statistics can be limited with the proper education.

As an educator that has worked with hundreds of children on anti-bullying strategies, I have found that the most important skill a child should have when dealing with bullies is confidence.  No matter what you teach a child, it will not be effective without the confidence to put the lessons into action. Children that fall victim to bullies usually are targets because they lack the confidence to stand up for themselves. Therefore, it is very important that you begin instilling confidence within your child if you want him or her to effectively handle bullying.

Here are a few tips on how you can build confidence within your child: Continue reading “Tips on Bullying”