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Entries in children (19)


How to Keep Kids Safe at Your Club

There are many reasons to offer kids fitness programs and child care within your club. However, it’s important that you and your staff are well prepared for the risks associated with developing these types of programs. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that, every year, about 3.5 million children under the age of 14 are injured while playing sports or participating in other recreational activities. Even though many of these injuries occur outside of a club setting, it is crucial to be aware of the unique safety and legal issues you could face when working with children.

Continue reading "How to Keep Kids Safe at Your Club."

Click to read more ...


Create an Active Generation of Kids with IHRSA’s Latest E-book

September is Child Obesity Month, a time to raise awareness for child obesity in the U.S. and promote steps communities can take to prevent it. 

Physical activity is a key component of treating and preventing child obesity, and can improve obesity-related risk factors, such as blood pressure and waist circumference. Children who are active are less likely to be obese, and exercise can help obese kids lose weight and body fat, do better in school, and have more confidence and self esteem. 

Health clubs play an important role in providing access to active spaces for kids, and they do it in a variety of ways. Some clubs provide separate spaces for kids to be active, some offer sport-specific programming and training like swimming or tennis, and others offer after school programs. Additionally, some clubs work directly with schools to provide physical activity or fundraising. 

The September edition of “12 Months of Health Promotion” will help you offer successful programming for children and adolescents. The e-book includes tools to help you develop programs, ideas for activities that appeal to kids and teens, shareable articles on the benefits of physical activity for kids, and the importance of making it more accessible in school and society. 

This month’s resources include: 

  • 7 Programming Ideas for Kids and Teens
  • “Best Practice E-book: Active Kids in the School and Community”
  • Key Takeaways from “Programming 101: The ABC’s of Children’s Programming”
  • Relevant articles and blog posts to read and share 

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New National Tennis Initiative Aims to 'Rally the Family'

The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) has launched an exciting new initiative to encourage families to play tennis. If your club provides tennis, you can sign up now at

Rally the Family focuses on tennis for all ages, using lower compression red, orange and green tennis balls, shorter courts, shorter racquets, and modified scoring, along with a focus on family spending time together in fun and healthy activities, while also continuing to address this nation’s struggle with the inactivity pandemic and obesity crisis for our youth. All tennis providers—facilities, parks, clubs, teaching pros, etc.—are encouraged to sign-up for this initiative and list their programs and events at

“When you offer family tennis events and programs with Rally the Family, you’ll be part of a national campaign to grow our sport,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “This family tennis initiative, launching to consumers this spring, is designed to drive adults and kids to your courts and increase activity at your club or facility.”

As a Rally the Family provider, you'll have access to free tools and resources to promote your business, including a guide to welcoming new players, along with downloadable and customizable promotional material and templates.

“Rally the Family was developed by the tennis industry and its stakeholders to grow participation in the sport, for the benefit of all—including the important benefits tennis brings to children and adults,” says incoming TIA President Jeff Williams. “We urge you to join your industry to help revitalize tennis in America.”


Overweight and Obese Children Desperately Need our Industry’s Help

We’re a nation of increasing size, but it’s not our borders that are expanding—it’s our waistlines. And, sadly, young people, as well as adults, have been gaining weight.

Back in 1980, just 7% of American children aged six to 11 were obese; by 2012, that number had jumped to almost 18%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the same time period, the percentage of obese adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 quadrupled, from 5% to 21%—or one out of every five—the CDC reports.

In total, more than one-third of American children and adolescents were either overweight or obese in 2012, the last year for which figures are available.

Click to read more ...


This Week In Health Promotion: Charleston Kids Get Active At School

Charleston School District Gets Creative With Exercise In The Classroom

In recent years, child obesity and physical inactivity has climbed while school physical education and recess have been on the decline. But some schools in Charleston, South Caroilina are aiming to turn the trend around. Kids in these schools can take more advanced PE classes, do yoga, and learn at desks that double as exercise equipment. They can also access special labs that blur the line between physical and academic education, all as part of the "Active Brains" program. 

So far feedback from parents and teachers has been positive. Learn more about Active Brains in the Washington Post.

Physical Activity - The Missing Link In Cancer Care

Breast cancer affects an estimated 1 in 8 women (12%) nationwide, and in 2015 nearly 300,000 cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, killing 40,290 women. Of course, breast cancer isn’t solely a women’s disease - it is anticipated that in 2015 men will be diagnosed with 2,350 cases of invasive breast cancer. While genetic predisposition is a factor, roughly 85% of breast cancer cases diagnosed in women are among those with no history of the disease.

The good news is that there are ways to help prevent breast cancer occurrence and reoccurrence. Research has shown associations between participating in regular physical activity and maintaining a normal body weight to lower risk of breast cancer. Physical activity has also been linked to lower risk of cancer recurrence and higher quality of life during and following treatment.  In a recent post on the Department of Health and Human Service Be Active Your Way Blog, IHRSA discusses the benfits of exercise for cancer patients and survivors, and highlights several clubs who are working to be part of the solution. 

Read the full post.


Run No Risks with Kids!

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 3.5 million children and adolescents, ages 14 and under, are injured each year while participating in sports or other recreational activities. Although most of these incidents don’t occur in clubs, it’s important that owners and operators be aware of the safety and legal regulations that apply to this population. 

To help you understand the risks associated with serving children, IHRSA has updated its briefing paper resources. Its Kids in Your Club guide outlines the requirements that, if adhered to, will help ensure that clubs can provide safe, effective, and entertaining programs and activities for youth.

Two of the key factors that need to be considered are supervision and the role of waivers.

The kind and amount of supervision provided should be predicated on a simple criterion: What’s necessary to prevent a child from being hurt? Make sure you adequately train any employees who will be working with kids in your facility. Identify areas or situations that could conceivably prove hazardous, and childproof them via education, signage, etc. An obvious example is the danger children court when running around a pool.

You should also consider creating a written policy spelling out what constitutes safe supervision in your club. And, if you have written guidelines, follow them.

If a child is injured and a lawsuit ensues, a court will want to know: Did the injury result, in part, from either a lack of or inadequate supervision? Was the supervisor competent? Were they present in the area they were supposed to be monitoring? Were they able to adequately supervise the number of children present? Was the club’s written policy being followed?

Staying out of legal hot water by ensuring child safety certainly starts by paying attention to the quality and quantity of supervision. The value of waivers and another document, a signed “agreement to participate” or “assumption of risk” form, is less clear, depending on such variables as the circumstances surrounding the injury and individual states’ interpretation of the related law.

A waiver is a contract in which the signer, either the child or their parent, waives the right to sue a club. As a general rule, however, minors aren’t bound by contracts. A study of sport-related cases involving children in 16 states revealed that, in every case in which the minor alone signed the waiver, they were able to get out of the contract.

Does a waiver signed by a parent on their child’s behalf release the club from liability in the event of an injury? Not necessarily. It depends on the state. For example, courts in Ohio, Maryland, and North Carolina have upheld the validity of releases signed by a parent on behalf of a minor. On the other hand, ones in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and New Jersey have held that such releases don’t bar future claims. Other states, such as Florida, will enforce such releases, but only for risks inherent in the activity—e.g., a simple fall on an ice skating rink. 

A signed agreement to participate or assumption of risk form may provide some legal protection, but, as with waivers, it depends on the specific circumstances. Basically, such documents attest that the signer understands and accepts that participating in the activity specified entails certain risks. For details on this option, and to learn more about the legal issues involved in hosting children at your club, download a copy of IHRSA's Kids in Your Club briefing paper.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended for the general education of IHRSA members, and shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Club operators requiring legal advice should consult an attorney qualified in this area. 


How did IHRSA get into publishing a children's book?

When Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president of Global Products, was reading to his daughter Elle, now 3½, he noticed there were plenty of alphabet books but not necessarily many that had a message of exercise.

That gave him an idea. Or, actually, sparked an old idea that had been shelved for more than five years.

Ablondi and Stan Tran, IHRSA Association Management Systems administrator, had started working on a children’s book in the late 2000s but put it on hold due to time restraints and the recession. With his new revelation he went to Tran and set a deadline to finish, and publish, the book.

“Active from A to Z”, IHRSA’s first foray into publishing a children’s book, just became available for purchase this week. The 56-page publication is full of bright illustrations by Tran that complement Ablondi’s rhyming about animals being active and accompanying fun facts.

Read on more on how it came about and how to order a copy.


'Active from A to Z' is IHRSA's first children's book

IHRSA's first foray into writing and publishing a children's book on exercise is here.

"Active from A to Z" uses animals exercising, as well as fun facts, to teach children about the importance of exercise as all as propelling them to get up and mimic the characters and live healthy and active lives.

"What better time than May, which is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, to get the word out that it's never too early to teach kids that fitness and learning can be fun," said Joe Moore, president and CEO of IHRSA.

The book was written by Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president of Global Products, and Jim Schmaltz, editor of IHRSA's Get Active! magazine. Stan Tran, Association Management Systems administrator at IHRSA, illustrated it.

Visit IHRSA Media Center for more and how to purchase the book. Check out the IHRSA homepage,, tomorrow for a broader story on "Active from A to Z."


Youth activity gets sub-par grades in report

Results from the inaugural United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth were far from acceptable.

Results show that only 1 in 4 children ages 6-15 get the recommended 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

“We hope the Report Card will galvanize researchers, health professionals, community members, and policy makers across the U.S. to improve our children’s physical activity opportunities, which will improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life,” said Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., chairman of the 2014 Report Card Research Advisory Committee.

The Report Card was unveiled at a Congressional Fitness Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill on April 29. It was prepared by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine, its organizational partner.

Check out more on the Report Card, as well as the grades, here. 



Capitol Report: July 17, 2013

A weekly update from IHRSA Public Policy 

  • Rep. Bonamici and Rep. Doyle Lend Their Support for the PHIT Act
  • Blog: IHRSA Member’s Program Gives Glimpse of Health Club of the Future
  • Proof that Educating Kids About the Value of Daily Exercise Works
  • In Your Capital: North Carolina

Read the latest issue of Capitol Report (for members only). For more on IHRSA and becoming a member, visit

Stay informed with this weekly e-mail newsletter. Capitol Report provides concise, timely news about legal and legislative issues affecting the club industry. This is a “must read” for any fitness professional concerned about their club and the industry. Subscribe to Capitol Report.