The Sandbox Project Spring 2013 Update

The Sandbox Project’s Growing Healthy Bodies Working Group Responds to Ontario Healthy Kids Panel Report

As I’m sure you are aware, the Ontario Government has recently released a report from their Healthy Kids Panel called No Time to Wait: The Healthy Kids Strategy.  The Growing Healthy Bodies Working Group produced a discussion document on the strengths and weaknesses of the report. Going forward, they hope that you will join in the discussion around this important issue.

On the positive side, the report did attempt to decrease the emphasis on weight especially with respect to children and youth. While this report is a valuable resource that identifies the status of Ontario children’s health there are some issues that have been identified.

Physical Literacy for Reducing Injury Risk

The Sandbox Project is working with a number of its partners, led by Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L), on a Public Health Agency of Canada grant to promote injury prevention through physical literacy. The Sandbox Project contributed to this project by providing injury prevention expertise and by disseminating information about physical literacy and the effect on injuries.

We know that there is a health crisis looming in Canada for our current generations of children and youth. Physical inactivity and other lifestyle factors have created a situation where our children may be the first generation in decades to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. In the face of this grim fact, developing physical literacy has emerged as a key tactic to promoting physical activity among children and youth, and thereafter through their adult lifespan.

But there’s still another practical bottom line to physical literacy when it comes to health and wellness: injury reduction and prevention.

Calling All Health Care Practitioners With an Interest in Paediatric Healthcare!

Researchers at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Toronto are looking for Physicians, Dietitians, Nurses and Health Psychologists to participate in a short, anonymous online survey to share their opinion on the development of a new health screening tool for children: The Healthy Body Scorecard.  It aims to address some of the limitations associated with the use of Body Mass Index (BMI) alone and provide a user-friendly tool that will help identify the heath needs of children aged 2-18. Everyone who completes the survey can enter a draw for a $150 gift card.  The Sandbox Project Growing Healthy Bodies Working Group has matched Mitacs funding for this research.

Please click here for more information and the survey.

Young Canadians Roundtable on Health (YCRH)

The Young Canadians Roundtable Table on Health (YCRH) is an initiative of The Sandbox Project that is bringing together motivated young Canadians from coast to coast to coast in order to make real change to the health prospects of their fellow young men and women.

YCRH is looking to attract nominations and applications from a broad range of Canadian young leaders. The deadline for nominations and applications is April 30th, 2013. YCRH’s goal is to identify issues, establish priorities, and provide comprehensive reports to collaborate with our working groups partners from The Sandbox Project.

Applications and nominations are open until April 30th.

Partner Updates

The Sandbox Project was founded to break down silos that often form between organizations, institutions and individuals.  For a list of The Sandbox Project's Collaborating and Corporate Partners, please click here and here, respectively.  To be added as a partner of The Sandbox Project, please contact us.

Special Olympics Canada

As a chapter within the larger global movement – there are now more than 229 accredited programs in 170 countries servicing more than 3.7 million – Special Olympics Canada has come a long way since it began in 1969. Today, more than 34,000 children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability are registered in our programs which run literally every day of the week out of local sport clubs. They, in turn, are supported by an extraordinary network of more than 16,400 volunteers; Canadians from all walks of life who are committed to help accomplish something remarkable, something extraordinary.  Click here for more information on Special Olympics Canada.


Our aim is an injury-free Canada. Parachute wants to bring attention to the issue of preventable injury and to help Canadians reduce their risks of injury and enjoy long lives lived to the fullest. Parachute is a national, charitable organization, formed in July 2012, which unites the former organizations of Safe Communities Canada, Safe Kids Canada, SMARTRISK and ThinkFirst Canada into one strong leader in injury prevention. This passionate, unified voice leverages 80 years of combined injury-prevention experience and we cannot be underestimated in our resolve and capacity to effect change.  Click here for more information on Parachute.

Active for Life

Active for Life is the place where parents go to learn about how to make a difference in the health and happiness of their children. Research shows there’s a right way and a right time to develop the fundamental movement and sport skills that benefit kids for their entire lives. Learning these basic movement and sports skills is known as becoming physical literate.  Click here for more information on Active for Life.

Play Safe Initiative (PSI)

The Play Safe Initiative is a collaborative approach to reducing injury risk in sport and physical activity through research, education and innovation.  The social and economic burden of acute and chronic injuries sustained by Ontarians as a result of participation in sport and physical activity is one concern.  Reducing injury would be easy if we just asked people to stop being active – that’s not the answer.  Chronic disease related to inactivity is another concern and it is critical to the health of our population that people are and get active.  Safety must be a corollary to activity and PSI is committed to safe and healthy physical activity participation where people are active in sport, recreation and education environments.  Click here for more information on the Play Safe Initiative.

Newsletter composed by Scott Watson