Tips: Promoting Children's Health
VOLUNTEERING AT A HEALTH CLINIC OR NON-PROFIT
- Before you go to a health clinic or a non-profit that promotes children's health, research the organization and the community it serves so that you can learn about the challenges faced by the children.
- The easiest way to do this is to talk with the leadership and/or other volunteers who work at the agency.
- If you are volunteering within a particular initiative or for an event (e.g. immunization drive, nutrition education, enrollment assistance for CHIP), learn about the available resources and/or necessary training.
- Include parents and guardians in all decisions and activities. Encourage them to support their children's participation in physical activities, health services, and healthy eating.
- Community and volunteer programs that promote regular physical activity among children could be among the most effective strategies for reducing the public health burden of chronic diseases associated with sedentary lifestyles. Programs that provide students with the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and confidence to participate in physical activity may go a long way toward establishing active lifestyles among young people that will continue into their adult lives.
- Contact a local Boys and Girls Club or YMCA to serve as a volunteer.
VOLUNTEERING AT BACK-TO-SCHOOL HEALTH DRIVES
- Local health clinics and municipal governments often sponsor health fairs for children and provide free dental exams, immunizations, and access to pediatricians. Contact your local clinic to see how you can help. Offer to distribute flyers, work a booth, or fundraise for the cause.
- Immunizations are critical to keeping kids healthy and in school. According to a 2006 CDC survey, 23% of black children and 20% of Hispanic children had not received the recommended five-vaccine series by the age of 35 months. Contact your local American Academy of Pediatrics chapter and see how you can help.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (2006) http://childstats.gov/americaschildren/care.asp.