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Staying Healthy

Keeping Kids Active During COVID-19

Corinna Franklin, MD

Corinna C.D. Franklin, MD, FAAOS

Any views or recommendations shared in the Ortho-pinions blog are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 

This time of sheltering at home has been trying for everyone, but those of us with young children at home face the particular challenge of keeping them active. Kids need to move and play and the many benefits of being active haven’t changed based on our need for social distancing—so what are parents to do?

One thing that some families are doing is setting up more play equipment at home. USA Today reports that sales of outdoor toys have increased substantially during this time of COVID-19. Giving children time to play outside is wonderful, but it is important to make sure that this is done safely. This is an especially bad time to have to sit in an ER waiting room with a broken bone!

Here are some simple tips to help keep kids safe while playing outdoors:

  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Make sure toys and equipment are appropriate for your child’s age, height, and weight.
  • Mount play equipment securely and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not go down a slide while holding your child—his or her foot could get caught beneath you and cause a broken shinbone.
  • Avoid tripping hazards in places where small children are playing.
  • According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, trampolines should never be used by children under the age of 6, and children of all ages should be supervised by an adult when jumping on a trampoline. One of the most important safety considerations is that a trampoline should be used by only one person at a time. Most injuries occur when two or more people collide while jumping. For more tips on safer trampoline use, read Trampoline Injury Prevention

Many families do not have outdoor space and have been looking for creative ways to keep kids active indoors. Luckily, a quick online search will produce many popular websites filled with ideas for at-home activities. In addition, many video-streaming sites offer instructional videos that encourage kids to dance, exercise, and even do yoga.

Whether your kids play indoors or outdoors, please be safe and have fun!

Last Reviewed

May 2020

Contributed and/or Updated by

Corinna C.D. Franklin, MD, FAAOS

AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.