ALEXANDRIA, VA, June, 12, 2014 – With warmer weather here to stay and summer vacation approaching, parents are looking for ways to keep their children active over the summer. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and its Section on Pediatrics are encouraging the whole family to get involved in physical activity with its "Summer Fit Family Challenge."

The challenge includes a checklist of 15 summer activities that families can enjoy doing together. Spend a day picking fruit from a local farm or organize a game of neighborhood tag. Download and print your copy for the refrigerator at Share photos of your family participating in the challenge on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #FitFam14 to be entered to win prizes. The contest will run from June 9 to September 1, 2014.

“There is a summer activity to suit everyone,” said Joseph Schreiber, PT, PhD, PCS, president of APTA’s Section on Pediatrics. "Pediatric physical therapists help all children and their families stay active, particularly when it comes to overcoming obstacles like asthma, obesity, or more challenging disabilities."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Physical therapists are experts in motion and provide care to patients during every stage of life. The “Summer Fit Family Challenge” was developed with the understanding that healthy habits start at a young age, and children are motivated to exercise when the entire family is involved.

"Part of being a pediatric physical therapist is working not only with a child, but with the whole family. Becoming fit as a family provides children a foundation for lifelong healthy habits," said Schreiber. "Physical therapists are a family’s ally in motion."

Physical therapists can address the needs of all children and adults, taking into consideration health conditions, prior injuries, or disabilities. By working together, a physical therapist can provide an individualized plan to keep everyone in the family active.

The American Physical Therapy Association represents more than 88,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat, and find a physical therapist in your area at Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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