NSW Kidsafe Day 2021
26 October 2021 is NSW Kidsafe Day
Children’s injuries a risk post-lockdown
And cost the Australian economy at least $212 million a year
Lockdown is over, children are going back to school but, health professionals are warning that Aussie children are not out of the woods yet. Each year in Australia, 68,000 children are hospitalised annually as a result of a preventable injury. Covid-19 has the potential to make this figure higher.
Christine Erskine, Executive Officer of Kidsafe NSW says “I hear people saying “Don’t worry – kids bounce” when we have a discussion about strategies for reintroducing children to sport post lockdown. The fact of the matter is, that children shouldn’t have to bounce and they don’t always. They can get hurt.”
She goes onto say that “lockdown isn’t something that children usually do. They are constantly active and moving be it at school, in the backyard or at sport. Lockdown in NSW saw most children confined to their house for home schooling for 15 weeks. Yes families went on walks and picnics but, it was a much more sedentary lifestyle compared to what they would have experienced pre-lockdown. As a result, they have deconditioned; their fitness, flexibility and stamina has dropped.”
According to Andrew Fyffe, Exercise Physiologist from The Children’s Hospital Institute of Sports Medicine “we saw an increase in soft tissue injuries and even broken bones in NSW post the 2020 lockdown. It was shorter than what we just experienced so we are anticipating that there will be a spike in similar injuries in the coming weeks.”
Kidsafe NSW is urging parents, carers and coaches to be aware that children need to be encouraged to recondition before they get back into competitive sport and physical activity. To help with this, Kidsafe NSW is working with a number of partners to provide free and easy to access resources that will provide 4-6 week programs designed specifically to improve children’s flexibility, fitness and strength so that they can enjoy sport and physical activity pain free and with confidence.
Patron of Kidsafe NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC Governor of New South Wales says “The benefits of play, sport and spending time with peers are so important to children’s mental and physical development. The 1,2,3…GO campaign provides advice from health and sports experts to ensure that children bounce back quickly from lockdown, with a safe, strategic and balanced approach to reintroducing children to all forms of physical activity.”
To access these free resources, check out the Kidsafe NSW Facebook page or their website www.kidsafensw.org