Friday, May 25, 2007

Remember Canada Fitness Day?

On Wednesday, I spent the afternoon baking in the sun, timing races at my children's' school. It was track and field day.

When I was in grade school, it was called Canada Fitness day. I hated it, especially the endurance run. I was never overweight, but it was the 80s, and lets face it, you can't pull off the teased hair, miniskirt-with-hot-pink-leg-warmer look and still be cool doing the 100 meter dash. I was always last in every race. I never made it over the high jump more than once, ball throw was a write-off, and during triple and long jump I'd swear someone put lead in my sneakers. All in all, I dreaded it.

As do my children. By the end of the day, they were physically ill from the heat and sun. I lathered them up several times with SPF 40, but being in full sun from 9 - 3 proved to be too much. Thursday they were home sick. Sunburned and suffering from heatstroke - mild, but still unpleasant.

I was reminded of a news story I'd seen several months ago about an 8 year old boy who was running up and down the stairs at school as part of the new government recommended DPA (Daily Physical Activity) who dropped dead of a heart attack. This boy was a healthy - and slightly overweight - 8 year old. When I was in school we had phys-ed teachers who were trained in things like CPR. Now, due to cut-backs gym teachers are just regular classroom teachers with little training should a child pass out or have a heart attack from overexertion.

Fortunately, Wednesday's track meeting was without incident, but that was pure luck. Those poor kids looked like boiled lobsters by the end of the day. I can't help but think that with the number of obese children on the rise, the number of deaths like that 8 year old boy will also rise. When will the government stop looking at the dollar and start looking at the faces of the children who are affected by it? Could that little boy have been saved by timely CPR or even the use of a defibrillator? These are the questions we should be asking in to those in charge of school funding.

Faith Girl

1 comment:

Johnny Cash said...

When I hear the latest pontifications from our politicians on the state of our health care system I want to throw a brick through the TV. You've hit the nail on the head: The best way to keep our socialist health care system financially viable is to make sure everybody stays healthy in the first place. An ounce of prevention and all that. As an aside, it is interesting to note that the province of Quebec is taking the lead to support amateur sport in Canada. It is a success story that has not escaped the attention of the other provinces either. Will Ontario attempt to follow Quebec's lead? Let's keep tuned!