Flat feet prevention

RC Banja Luka

Schwerpunkt: Krankheitsvorsorge und -behandlung

Typ: Lokal

Art: District Grant

Projektziel: Awareness raising about flat feet prevention among preschool children in Banja Luka

Projektbeginn: 02.11.2016

Projektende: 30.06.2017

Budget: 5000

Währung: Euro (€)

Land: Bosnien und Herzegowina

Ort: Banja Luka

Beschreibung:

 

The incorrect body posture is becoming one of the key health issues among preschool and early school age children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At this age, correct postural development is critically important. One of the most pronounced body posture deformities is known as flat feet.

 

Flat feet (pes planus) is a condition in which the foot does not have a normal arch so the entire foot touches the floor while a person is standing. Appropriate body posture including the incidence of flat feet is a result of various factors including: the overall health condition, the level of physical activity, age and gender, muscle strength and flexibility.

Another reason that contributes to the incidence of flat feet is a passive lifestyle that has a detrimental effect on developing the muscular system capable of maintaining the correct body posture. Early age children, particularly in urban environments, spend fewer hours in the natural surrounding compared to previous generations. They rarely walk on bumpy terrain, almost never climb trees and wear shoes that unevenly burden the arch of the foot.

 

Various studies have shown that the percentage of children with flat feet significantly declines in early school age. However, the study conducted in September 2016 has found that 26.2% of the first-grade school children in Banja Luka suffer from feet deformities, with additional 15.2% experience the spinal column issues. Approximately 13.3% of children struggle with incorrect posture, while 6.3 %of them experience speech impediments.

 

The crucial measure in such cases is the prevention of flat feet and related body posture deformities. The timely identification of the foot deformity is extremely important. It is possible to improve the arch of the foot with an appropriate preschool motion programs that engage muscle groups and contribute to widening child's motor skills repertoire. Such measures are worthwhile only when children are challenged both, by their preschool teachers and parents to improve their body posture.

 

Project goals

 

This project has the following goals:

 

1.       To contribute to lowering the incidence of flat feet.

We will fulfil this goal by introducing adequate children games and activities that include physical exercises aimed at strengthening feet functions as the stable bearer of body weight.

 

2.       To contribute to children's intellectual development.

We will employ the elements of the Nikola Tesla Learning (NTC) Learning System designed to identify gifted children. Recent studies in the field of child development have shown that learning disabilities, speech disorders, motor skills health conditions and poor physical development including flat feet, are the outcome of insufficient physical and mental activity in the early childhood. Nowadays, children rarely play simple games including jumping, spinning, marbles, rubber band or hide and seek. These types of activities are essential for the creation of synapses (connections between nerve cells), muscle coordination, coordination of the whole body and intelligence. Without knowing, their parents allow activities that prevent the proper development of their children. Such activities include the excessive exposure to TV and video games, insufficient graphomotor activities and physical inactivity, all of which cause damage and reduce the development of a child's biological potentials.

 

3.       Awareness raising about flat feet prevention among preschool children in Banja Luka.

We aim at mobilising the Banja Luka community so as to educate citizens about the importance of children's correct body posture. The number of kindergartens in Banja Luka is insufficient to meet the growing demand and many children never enter the preschool educational system. The parents and family members of such children have fewer opportunities to learn about development measures for their children. We will prepare and print brochures with instructions about various activities that other parents can use to stimulate their children's development.

 

The project's main target groups are:

-        Preschool children aged 4 and 5, in a kindergarten in Banja Luka,

-        Preschool teachers,

-        Parents and family members.

 

Project activities

 

The project will be conducted during the 10 months period and implemented in three steps.

 

1.        Arch of the foot measurement

In close cooperation with the Public Institution "Centre for Preschool Education Banja Luka", our project team consisting of:

-        dr Ranko Rajevic, PhD, the creator of the NTC Learning System, Mensa International Board Member and UNESCO consultant, and

-        medical doctor/certified physiatrist

 

will conduct the clinical diagnosis under the watchful eye of preschool teachers to determine to what degree the children's arches are formed. The feet of the children will be measured (footprint method) while in a standing position at the project onset and compared with data measured after the closing of the project. The goal is to determine whether the total scores will improve, and if yes to what extent, in each group of children with respect to the initial scores.

The project team will also include members of Rotary Club Banja Luka.

 

2.        Workshops

So as to educate preschool teachers and parents about the importance of correct body posture and more specifically how to combat flat feet, we will run three workshops in a kindergarten. The workshops will include activities aimed at increasing the children's motor and graphomotor functions on one hand, and development of associative thinking on the other.

 

3.        The educational information pack

We will prepare the information pack to be disseminated through brochures and social media. The packs will contain information about the incidence of flat feet among preschool children and instructions to parents about various activities they can entertain while with their children.

 

During the workshops, our team will educate preschool teachers and parents about the proper stance and relaxing positions, activities that contribute to upping the foot arch.

 

Benefit to the community 

This pilot project will be implemented in a kindergarten in Banja Luka. There are direct and indirect benefits to our community.

 

Direct benefits

The children, their parents and preschool teachers will benefit from this project.

During the closely monitored project activities, the children will engage in new types of activities that will contribute to their physical and intellectual wellbeing. Thanks to the project activities, the children's body posture will improve and the incidence of flat feet will diminish to some extent.

The project's success is largely dependent on the children's home environment. Their parents and family members will learn through the educational information pack how to play at home and improve their children's health condition.

Finally, the preschool teachers will gain new knowledge and skills. By teaching the preschool teachers to transfer their knowledge to their colleagues we will increase the scope of children subjected to the preventative measures designed to combat the incidence of flat feet.

 

Indirect benefits

The entire community will benefit thanks to the children's improved health condition. The costs of medical treatments related to bad body posture are growing. By preventing the incidence of incorrect body posture including flat feet, we assist our health system and the future labour market.

Also, we hope to apply the experiences gained through this project to other communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad. We believe this approach could be replicated in additional kindergartens and a similar project could be implemented with another RC or our Rotary District 1910.

Kontaktperson: Siniša Marčić

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