Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
More than 700 third grade students were on hand Friday, May 7, actively moving across the grounds of Cedar Crest in Topeka. The 2010 Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day, sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Fitness, Safe Kids Kansas, Kansas Health Foundation and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, included events to promote physical activity and prevent accidental injury.
Flagship events took place at Cedar Crest and historic Ft. Larned. Local events were hosted at 33 additional sites across Kansas. A total of more than 16,000 third graders, their teachers and parents participated. Activities at Cedar Crest opened with remarks from Governor Mark Parkinson and First Lady Stacy Parkinson. Athletes from Hayden High School in Topeka led the group in stretching and warm-ups.
“Safe Kids Kansas is excited to participate again in this statewide event which reinforces for children the fun and health benefits of non-competitive physical activities,” said Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas. Accidental injury remains the leading cause of death and disability in children ages one to 14 in the United States and in Kansas. “We want to encourage kids and their families to get moving, to play and be active,” said Sage. “And we also want them to understand how simple safety steps such as wearing appropriate safety gear and keeping hydrated can keep your kids from getting sidelined by an injury.”
In addition to other physical activities, participants at Cedar Crest and other local sites tested their skills in safety relays that included stations such as “Stop, Drop & Roll”, dialing 9-1-1, testing smoke alarms and selecting and suiting up in an appropriate life jacket. Statewide, all children participating in Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day were invited to participate in a four week fitness challenge prior to their event for special recognition. All 16,000 third grade students received health and safety enrichment packets, safety tip sheets, jump ropes and high-bounce balls to encourage safety and physical activity.
Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day provides an opportunity to impress upon children the importance of being safe and active. A report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on September 30, 2004, states that while “children’s health has made tremendous strides over the past century; we begin the 21st century with a shocking development - an epidemic of obesity in children and youth.” Studies conducted by Kansas Department of Health and Environment indicate that the percentage of Kansas youth who were overweight or obese was 25 percent in 2009 (YRBS 2009). At the same time, 51 percent of Kansas youth reported they did not participate in the recommended amount of physical activity (60 minutes/day for at least five days per week). Complete results from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results can be found at www.kshealthykids.org.
For more information about Safe Kids or to request a copy of newly developed fact sheets and tip sheets, visit www.safekidskansas.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org.