Fortunately, most kids are healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 84 percent of children in the United States between the ages of 5 and 11 are either in very good or excellent health. However, not all children are as lucky.
According to the CDC, some of the leading causes of death for those in the one to 4-year-old age range include congenital malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities. For kids between 5 and 14 years of age, a disease-related leading cause of death is cancer.
Because nutrition, exercise, and learning all play a role in maximizing childhood health, the last week of April is now dedicated to celebrating the roles that schools play in this process. The event is called Every Kid Healthy Week.
What can you do at your chiropractic practice between April 22 and 26, 2019 to help commemorate this nationally recognized event?
1. Partner with an area school
If a school in your area is planning to celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week, ask to partner with them and join in on their festivities. Maybe they need a financial donation to help supply all of the students healthy snacks. Or perhaps they could use an extra hand at one of their scheduled events, working with students to participate in different activities.
Additionally, if the school is holding any type of health expo—whether during school hours or at night, when parents may be more able to attend—inquire about setting up a booth so you can share the health benefits of chiropractic.
Help the kids have fun with this by supplying pages they can color, further reinforcing your message of improving health. If you don’t have your own, a variety of options can be found online by searching “healthy spine coloring pages.”
2. Celebrate at your practice
If there are no area schools participating in Every Kid Healthy Week, another option is to celebrate right at your practice. One way to do this is to give every child that comes in a little goodie bag filled with pro-health items.
Some of these items can be used to reinforce good nutrition, such as by including a piece of fruit or an image of what a healthy plate looks like (the latter of which you can even get in magnet form if you wish). Items that can be used to support their increased levels of activity include jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, or a list of scavenger hunt items for them to collect from outside or around their homes.
Many of these types of items can be purchased at a dollar store or online in bulk, so they don’t need to be expensive. You could also contact area businesses such as roller rinks or sports facilities and see if they’ll provide coupons to add to the goodie bags.
3. Sponsor a Healthy Kid event
One of main issues negatively impacting kid’s health nationwide is obesity, with one in five school-aged children struggling with this issue according to the CDC. This places them at risk of many lifelong, chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
To help combat this, you could celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week by sponsoring some type of event designed to get children off the couch and more active. A fun way to do this is to set up an obstacle course the kids can go through.
Place cones along the course that they have to run around or small tires or circles that they have to maneuver through. If you have access to a track, you could even hold short races for the different age groups.
Help the kids in your area see that exercise can be fun. By realizing this when they’re young, they’re more likely to create positive physical activity habits that last a lifetime.
4. Hold a challenge
Like adults, many kids are competitive. So, another way to celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week is to hold a challenge whereby the children you see in your practice work toward milestones that are important to improving health.
For instance, you could ask them to keep track of the number of glasses of water they drink in a day and, if they consume a certain amount, you will add their name to the wall. You could also do the same with consuming a certain amount of fruit or veggies.
The main thing to remember is, when it comes to kids (and even adults for that matter), the key is to make health fun. The more you can do that, the better—and more long-lasting—your results.