Summer is a prime time to get outdoors and enjoy activities like cycling, kayaking, soccer and more. Each year, however, activities like these cause over 900 kids in BC to visit the emergency department—and many of these injuries are preventable. To help keep kids out of the hospital, researchers at BC Children’s recently launched a new website called Active & Safe Central (activesafe.ca).
The site draws on research to offer quick and helpful information on how to prevent injuries for over 50 sports and recreational activities. Tips are also personalized to different audiences, including kids and parents, coaches and teachers, officials and administrators, and health professionals.
Visitors simply search for their sport or activity of choice, read about the types of injuries and risk factors associated with it, and most importantly, learn about the best evidence-based ways to prevent injuries. These consist of things like strength training exercises to avoid ankle injuries when hiking and the best type of golf clubs to reduce stress on the body.
“Despite our best efforts, injuries from sport and recreational activity can and do happen,” said Dr. Shelina Babul, an associate director and sports injury specialist with the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit. “Active & Safe Central helps parents stay informed about the risks for injury and how kids can stay safe.”
Active & Safe Central is one of several initiatives at BC Children’s that’s helping prevent kids from getting injured, thanks to the generous support of donors. Another new tool, outsideplay.ca, was created to help parents think differently about risky play—which has societal, cognitive and physical benefits. And through updates to the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (cattonline.com), parents, medical professionals, coaches and teachers have been given the resources they need to better recognize and respond to concussions.
All of these efforts are helping take important steps forward in keeping kids out of the hospital. In fact, a research study recently ranked nine Canadian provinces on their child injury prevention rates and strategies. The outcome? BC scored the number one spot.