What does it take to raise a healthy child?
We know that children who start out strong, stay strong. The adults in their lives are committed, informed and connected. Their homes are nurturing and safe. Their parents, teachers and neighbours work together to ensure access to services, programs and experiences needed for optimal development from infancy to adulthood.
Parents as healthy examples for their children
On May 28, the YMCA released the 2015 YMCA Healthy Kids Report which unveiled that parents are finding it difficult to set a healthy example for their children with 85 percent stating that it takes effort to be a healthy role model. Nationally, 35 percent of parents do not think their 6-12 year old is getting enough physical activity per week.
To encourage families to get out and be active, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka will join YMCAs across Canada in celebrating YMCA Healthy Kids Day on June 7 – a national day dedicated to improving the health and well-being of kids across the country.
The study revealed that parents feel they are the most important influence on their young children; however only a few identify themselves as healthy role models:
- 71% of parents who said they were a role model to their child state that they have a lot of influence on their child
- Only 28% of parents who said they were a role model to their child identify themselves as ‘excellent’ role models for their children, ranking outside influences as higher including athletes (56%), coaches (51%) and teachers (38%)
- Parents said that they find it difficult to lead healthy and active lives, with only half of those surveyed stating that they get more than the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise per week
- Only four in ten parents across Canada (42%) say their child gets the recommended 7 hours of physical activity per week
- 46% of parents cite lack of time as the biggest barrier to participating in activities with their children
- In discussing peak activity levels for their child, 30% of parents said their child was most active at school or after school, 23% said during the summer and only 17% said weekends
The theme of this report focused on children aged 6-12 and the importance of role models in promoting their healthy development and activity levels. Additional findings from the report found that while parents know where to find programs and services that promote active and healthy living, 54 percent do not have the time or money to access them.
YMCA supports families raising healthy children
The YMCA gives children, no matter what their financial situation, the support and opportunity they need throughout the year to learn, play and grow in a safe and supportive environment.
YMCAs are important partners of families in raising healthy kids. As a leader in the development of children, the YMCA is committed to continually assessing the needs of families in our communities to understand how to serve them best.
Collectively, YMCAs in Canada serve more than 2 million people including 574,100 children and 239,500 youth up to the age of 17, in more than 1,000 communities across the province. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to grow and flourish in spirit, mind and body. And more than that, we believe that with the right support and opportunities, everyone can.
Celebrate YMCA Healthy Kids Day with us
We hope you’ll join us on June 7 when we celebrate YMCA Healthy Kids Day across Simcoe/Muskoka.
For complete schedules of what’s happening in each community, please visit click here.