Tennessee Celebrates Child Health Week

Thursday, October 03, 2013 | 10:16 am
kids on playground.JPG

NASHVILLE – Governor Bill Haslam has proclaimed October 7-13, 2013, Child Health Week in Tennessee, and the Department of Health is encouraging all Tennesseans to put the health and well-being of children first during Child Health Week and every week of the year.

“Each of us has the power to do our part to help keep our children in Tennessee healthy and on the right track,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We can all be good examples for children in our state, helping them make good lifestyle choices like regular physical activity, healthy food in the right portions, avoiding tobacco and nicotine and modeling other good habits like seat belts, bike helmets, brushing teeth, immunizations and regular checkups. Healthy and educated children lead to a future for Tennessee of prosperous and happy adults.”

Tennessee families are also encouraged to visit the new kidcentral tn website. Kidcentral tn is a one-stop shop for families to connect with important information and resources provided by Tennessee state government agencies. The website features a comprehensive directory of state services for children and families. Learn more at kidcentraltn.com.

This year’s Child Health Week theme is “A Healthy Tennessee Begins with a Healthy Me,” emphasizing the role of each individual in achieving good health for our state. In recent years, Tennessee has seen marked improvements in rates of infant mortality, births to teen mothers, childhood immunization and child deaths. 

“Collaborative efforts in both the public and private sectors are improving the lives of Tennessee’s youngest residents,” said Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, TDH director of Family Health and Wellness. “Our Safe Sleep initiative and the Healthy Tennessee Babies are Worth the Wait partnership are examples of efforts to address and reduce known causes of infant death and poor birth outcomes. Child Health Week is an excellent opportunity to highlight the success of these and other initiatives and explore ways to address other important health challenges.”

The overall death rate for Tennessee children dropped by 20 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to information released earlier this year by the State Child Fatality Review team. Notable factors in that reduction are a decrease in sleep-related infant deaths due to suffocation or strangulation, which were down 16.8 percent from 2010 to 2011, and a 20 percent drop in deaths of black children between 2007 and 2011.

For more information on Tennessee’s Safe Sleep campaign, visit http://safesleep.tn.gov/. To learn about the Healthy Tennessee Babies are Worth the Wait partnership, visit www.healthytennesseebabies.com/.

TDH has information about this year’s Child Health Week activities and local events, along with resources for parents, schools and communities available online at http://health.tn.gov/MCH/CHW.shtml.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. For more information about TDH services and programs, visit http://health.state.tn.us/.