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Check Your Health: Exercise and sport recommendations for children

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Check Your Health - Exercise and Sport Recommendations for Children
Summertime means kids are often outdoors and playing. Dr. Clark Madsen, a family medicine and sports medicine physician at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital, stopped by to talk about exercise and sports recommendations for children.

1. Playing outdoors, including climbing, jumping, running and other natural play is critical for developing skills they will use their entire life and developing the idea that being active is fun.

2. There is no exact age that children should begin organized sports, this should be determined by parents watching their children to determine if they have the right coordination and general movement skills needed for the sport.

3. Children and teenagers should be encouraged to participate in many sports and avoid focusing on one. Many of our greatest athletes didn't begin focusing on their sport until their late teenage years or later. Focusing on just one sport year round increases the risk for injury and generally getting burned out.

4. At all ages the focus should be on having fun. Few will make a career of sport but all children should learn to love being active throughout their lives. It may be the most important thing parents teach children for their health.

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