Did you know that injury is the leading cause of death in Australian Children? Each week 35,000 children will seek treatment from an emergency department.
To help address the issue, child safety promotion organisation The Kids Foundation has come up with an innovative way for people at either ends of the age spectrum to help each other. The Foundation has implemented a pilot program entitled Adopt a Grand-buddy – connecting generations to reduce childhood injury rates.
Over the next 12 months residents of Geelong’s Opal South Valley Aged Care will team up with children from Waurnvale Early Learning Centre to undertake a series of activities that focus on safety awareness. These activities cover physical and social safety.
Old habits not helping
'Research shows that bubble-wrapping children and helicopter parenting is not helping to reduce injuries,' said Dr Susie O’Neill, Kids Foundation’s Founder and Director.
'When children are given the right learning opportunities and experiences they build a foundation of knowledge that equips them with capabilities they need to become competent ride-takers and manage challenges in everyday life', she said.
This program focuses on building identity and understanding of physical, emotional and intellectual self. The grand-buddy will share their lifelong experiences and stories to help the children to develop skills in these areas.
A wonderful example of community volunteering
Few volunteer programs cover both ends of the age spectrum quite like this.
'The program creates opportunities for engagement with mutually beneficial outcomes, improving the health and safety awareness of the participants involved,' Dr O'Neill said.
Find out more about seniors volunteering here, and about The Kids Foundation here.
Don't forget too that if you know of a community initiative involving seniors like this, you can nominate it for a Seniors of the Year award. Find out more here.