Our goal for 2019 Sport for Charity: Children with a chronic illness
The Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital supports children with a chronic (long-term) disease. In the Netherlands, 14% of children and young adults under the age of 18 suffer from such a disease, which means more than 500,000 children. These children are less active in sports and exercise than healthy children because they feel restricted and anxious. Moreover, parents often worry about their child being active.
Yet it is very important to get plenty of exercise from an early age. This not only prevent physical deterioration but also contributes to social well-being. No exercise means missing out on a lot of fun: no gym classes, no swimming parties, not playing tag outdoors. And that is a recipe for unhappiness.
Research conducted by our sports doctor Linda van den Berg shows that doing sports is effective for chronically ill adults. Linda says: "we need to find out whether this holds for children as well. So the Sophia Children’s Hospital will set up a customized exercise program for chronic ill children”. This program involves measuring the child’s muscular strength and endurance first. Taking this into account, an individual training program is designed. The child is guided by a physiotherapist, supervised by Linda”. The research goal is to determine what program works best for e.g. children with a heart or lung disorder, muscle disease or bowel disease.
We trust that chronically ill children build up a better condition through this program. And then gain enough confidence to exercise with their friends. We need healthier and happier chronical ill children who never have to stay at the sidelines. Will you join?