Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic December 04, 2012 - 7:24 am

Pauktuutit aims to reduce sports and recreational injuries among Inuit youth

"Children and youth living in the North are injured far more often than those living in southern Canada"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Kids play street hockey in front of the North Mart store in Iqaluit. Pauktuutit's
Kids play street hockey in front of the North Mart store in Iqaluit. Pauktuutit's "Active and Safe Inuit Children and Youth" wants to reduce the number of sports and recreational injuries among Inuit children and youth across Canada. (FILE PHOTO)

Pauktuutit, the national Inuit women’s association, hopes to cut down on the high number of sports and recreational injuries among Inuit children and youth with its new “Active and Safe Inuit Children and Youth” project.

Leona Aglukkaq, Nunavut MP and federal health minister, announced Dec. 3 that Pauktuutit’s project is among three projects across Canada to reduce the number of sports and recreation-related injuries among children and youth, which will share in $1.7 million from Ottawa.

“Many sports and recreational injuries are both predictable and preventable,” Aglukkaq said in a news release.

Sports and recreation-related injuries make up a significant proportion of unintentional injuries among children and youth up to age 19. About 40 per cent of child and youth injuries treated in Canadian emergency departments are sports and recreation-related.

Pauktuuti’s “Active and Safe Inuit Children and Youth” partners include the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development, Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Inuvialuit Regional Corp., National Inuit Youth Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

The project intends to involve Inuit youth who will help develop safety messages to be used as part of a safety awareness campaign.

Those messages will be distributed to all 53 northern Inuit communities and to southern cities with large Inuit populations to increase injury prevention knowledge, the news release said.

“Children and youth living in the North are injured far more often than those living in southern Canada,” said Rebecca Kudloo, president of Pauktuutit. “This initiative will provide an opportunity for youth to share ideas on ways they can take part in daily recreational activities safely.”

Unintentional injury, the leading cause of death among Canadian children, is much higher among children living in Inuit regions, a recent Statistics Canada study found.

They’re more than twice as likely as children living in places with few aboriginal residents to end up in hospital with unintentional injuries.

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