Spring is quickly approaching and the doldrums of winter are ending as the days are getting noticeably longer. Adults and children alike are getting excited to go outside and be more physically active, especially on the occasional 70 or 80 degree sunny day. This shorts and t-shirts weather builds excitement that can sometimes be interpreted (or misinterpreted) as Spring Fever.
Spring Fever is not a virus and it is not contagious, although it might be catchable. Spring Fever is simply the desire to be outside and be physically active.
My advice to parents, no matter the weather, is to balance the need to get homework done and the need for physical activity. Dress children appropriately and send them out to play. Bundle them up on cold days, shed some layers on warmer afternoons, and take advantage of this new-found energy to run away the winter blues. Limiting screen time in front a TV, computer or video game is important too. In fact, this is all generally good advice for kids and parents alike.
Melissa Johnson, PhD, is a pediatric psychologist with WakeMed’s Pediatric Development Team.