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Children With Cerebral Palsy: Celebrating the Fourth of July This Summer

Michael Becker

With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, if you have a child with birth injuries, you may be thinking about how to celebrate in a fun yet safe manner with your child. Whether you want to spend the afternoon at a splash park with the family or take in some fireworks, planning your Fourth of July when you have children with cerebral palsy or other birth injuries takes time and creativity.

Splash Parks Are Fun for All Abilities

Splash parks are fun for children of all ages and abilities. If your child is not able to run around the splash park, he or she can still enjoy the cool water as it splashes down on everyone that is near. You can sit with your child within reaching distance of the water and engage your child in the fun. This is a great way to stay cool and at the same time have your child be involved with other children playing in the area.

Fireworks Are Great, But Be Mindful of Seizure Activity

Not all children with cerebral palsy suffer from seizures, but for many children, this is simply a fact of life. If your child’s seizures are not in good control, you might want to skip the fireworks. Some children’s seizures are triggered by the loud noises while others are bothered by the flashing of the fireworks. If you want to try to watch some fireworks this Fourth of July, consider sitting in an area that is farther from the action to avoid the excessive loud noises and flashing. This way, if you need to leave because of seizure activity, you won’t be blocked in by other cars.

Head to a Public Pool or Lake

Another way to have some fun this Fourth of July is to take your child swimming at a public pool or lake. Swimming is very therapeutic for children who have mobility issues, and being in water allows you to manage your child more easily because of weightlessness. You can have fun in the water while at the same time keeping cool. Use floatation devices to assist you, and focus on relaxing in the water, allowing your child to explore the environment.

Keep Your Plans Simple

If you are worried that your plans are getting overwhelming as you get ready for the Fourth of July, there is no reason you can’t scale your plans down. Parents of children with disabilities often feel guilty for cancelling plans at the last minute or not being able to attend events because it is simply too difficult to do so. Keep your plans simple, and focus on the things that you want to do, not the things that you feel you should do.

As you plan for the upcoming holiday, you may also want to consider getting some child care help for the day. If you are intent on going out yet overwhelmed with physical care, having another caretaker with you can help ease your burden. Many families who have disabled children have additional help to assist in the daily care of their children.

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