JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Parents who use the Medical Education and Training Campus Fitness Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston will soon be able to utilize a new area that allows them to work out while watching over their children at the same time.
The official opening for the new Parent Child Area, located inside the fitness center, is June 3. The children’s play and adult workout area will be open to parents of small children, from infant to 5 years of age, who are active duty members, military spouses or have a Department of Defense ID card. Parents and their children will be able to utilize the Parent Child Area during fitness center hours.
“We want to make sure any parent who wants to work out and has a small child has that opportunity to work out,” said Feletia McLaurin, METC Fitness Center fitness and sports manager.
The Parent Child Area is equipped with amenities, including an enclosed play area and small table for children and a flat screen TV and DVD player for viewing children’s movies.
In addition, the area includes exercise equipment for parents to work out on. A custom-made divider with a gate separates the enclosed play area from the workout area, allowing parents to keep an eye on their children as they work out.
From the time the fitness center opened in 2011, McLaurin said parents who worked out at the center would inquire whether it had an area for small children. After getting project approval for it, McLaurin and fitness center staff started work on the Parent Child Area in October 2018.
In approximately four months, they were able to convert a former workout room and storage space into the dual use children’s play and parents’ workout area.
The Parent Child Area includes new paint, a new floor and new workout equipment. McLaurin painted the mural of a tree that is on the back wall of the area and a red flower that is around a clock on a side wall. McLaurin said the murals that have been painted on the walls of the Parent Child Area are meant to make the area child-friendly.
“The murals stir the imagination of a child,” McLaurin said.
To utilize the Parent Child Area, parents must sign in at the fitness center front desk and must follow certain usage guidelines. The Parent Child Area is for children from infant to 5 years of age and has a maximum capacity for four children and three adults.
Parents must be with their children within the area at all times. Usage of the area is limited to 60 minutes. After usage, parents are responsible for picking up the room before leaving.
Children from infant to six months of age within the Parent Child Area must be in a car carrier seat or stroller, and children from infant to 5 years of age must stay in the designated enclosed play area.
Any child who is sick or shows symptoms of illness will not be allowed in the play area. Parents of unruly or misbehaving children will be asked to leave the area and the fitness center.
Parents in violation of play area policies could be denied future use of the Parent Child Area.
For information about Parent Child Area usage and policies, contact the METC Fitness Center at 210-808-5709.