|October 2, 2013 -
In observation of Child Health Week, Oct. 6-12, 2013, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD), TENNderCARE and a host of community partners are planning activities to encourage everyone in Knox County to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of our children.
"Whether we're promoting tips and resources or hosting special events, the activities during Child Health Week are designed to raise awareness of the many ways the community can help children have healthy, productive futures," said Charlayne Frazier, TENNderCARE program manager at KCHD. "By focusing on a different theme each day, we're hoping to remind people that good health includes a variety of factors."
2013 Child Health Week activities include:
Monday, October 7th – Celebrating Healthy Children Kick Off
KCHD and TENNderCARE will host the Child Health Week Kick Off Monday, Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. at Cherokee Health Systems, 2018 Western Ave. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will proclaim Oct. 6–12, 2013, as Child Health Week in Knox County. KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan will give an update on the health status of Knox County's children. Additional speakers include Cherokee Health Systems CEO Dr. Dennis Freeman and East Tennessee Children's Hospital President and CEO Keith Goodwin.
Tuesday, October 8th - Safety
DESCRIPTION: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the U.S. In addition, home and recreation-related injuries account for about a third of all injury-related emergency department visits. Ensuring that all children have healthy homes and safe places to play and travel are crucial in helping them realize their full potential.
KCHD will offer car seat safety classes for eligible parents and expectant parents on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. For more information call KCHD at 865-215-5170.
TENNderCARE has partnered with Knox County Schools to provide Director Werner Herzog's documentary short, "From One Second to the Next," to Knox County high school wellness and driver's education teachers. The film, designed to discourage texting and driving, portrays four lives that have been impacted by texting-related accidents.
Wednesday, October 9th - Physical Activity
DESCRIPTION: According to the CDC, regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Evidence also suggests that regular physical activity may help improve students' academic performance.
ACTIVITY: Oct. 9 is International Walk to School Day. In Knox County, more than 25 elementary and middle schools are taking part in this initiative to promote family involvement in regular physical activity. Parents should contact their child's school to see if it is participating.
Thursday, October 10th - Nutrition
DESCRIPTION: As reported in the 2011 National Survey of Children's Health, Tennessee ranks fifth worst in the country on a key measure of health: more than one-third of our children aged 10-17 are overweight or obese. Teaching healthy eating habits at an early age and making certain that children have access to healthy, affordable foods can have lifelong benefits.
ACTIVITY: To encourage families to make a healthy breakfast part of their daily routine, Knox County Schools will offer all Knox County students a free breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 10. They're encouraging kids to "Stick with Breakfast" by serving a healthy version of French toast sticks.
Friday, October 11th - Dental Health
DESCRIPTION: According to the CDC, tooth decay affects children in the U.S. more than any other chronic infectious disease. The consequences of poor dental health include speech problems, low self-esteem, and an inability to concentrate on learning or playing activities.
TENNderCARE and its partners will be promoting the 2-2-2 tip: brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day and get a checkup twice a year.
The School Based Dental Preventive Program (SBDPP), housed at KCHD and supported by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health, will offer free preventive dental services to children at Lonsdale Elementary School on Oct. 11. SBDPP is an ongoing program serving children in kindergarten through fifth grade at select Knox County schools. For more information call 865-215-5110.
Special weeklong activity:
DESCRIPTION: To quote Dr. Margaret Chan, director of the World Health Organization, "Education and health are a mutually-reinforcing sisterhood."
ACTIVITY: To help children learn about healthy habits, the Knox County Public Library (KCPL) will incorporate health-related books into regular storytimes, one of KCPL's initiatives to help children develop literacy skills. For more information contact Erin Nyugen at 865-215-8761 or click on the Kids' Library section of the library's website: www.knoxlib.org.
Child Health Day was first proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1928 and celebrates its 85th observance this year. In honor of this, the State of Tennessee sets a special week every year in October to focus on the health and well-being of its children. Child Health Week is an initiative from the Governor's Children Cabinet, which is designed to coordinate, streamline and enhance initiatives across multiple departments to empower, educate and engage Tennessee families. Child Health Week in Knox County is made possible by partnerships with Knox County Schools, Walgreens, Cherokee Health Systems, BlueCare TN, United Healthcare Community Plan and Safe Kids of Greater Knox Area. More health tips and resources are available at www.knoxcounty.org/health.