Rantin: Getting a move on – for fun, health and safety

brantin@ thestate.com (803) 771-8306June 13, 2013 

— There was not an Xbox, cellphone or video game to be found among the youngsters on the grounds of the Lexington Family YMCA Wednesday morning.

Instead, moving – and doing so safely – was the theme, as more than 200 campers exercised their right to physical activity.

The morning of movement was part of the second annual In Action Play Day, put on at the camp by Safe Kids Midlands and Kohl’s stores. The multi-hour field day was intended to encourage children to be more active.

“We are looking to inspire and engage children,” said Blake Amick, manager of Kohl’s in Irmo.

Wednesday morning’s activities included a potato sack race, dizzy bat competition, egg on a spoon game, kickball, volleyball, dunking booth, toilet paper roll and other energy games.

“I guess they’re trying to keep us active and everything so that we don’t rely too much on the TV,” said Camden Middle School student Cynthia Cain, who was all-in for many of those events.

The day also featured a bike rodeo and operation and safety sessions that stressed the importance of staying safe out on the road. The sessions covered such things as hand signals, road signs and how to safely operate a bicycle.

“We’re trying to at least get a little bit of base knowledge so that they understand the rules of the road,” said David Scarsella of Bike to Nature.

Brockman Elementary student Diego Addison said he had not given much thought to using hand signals before Wednesday but said he believes knowing them is a good idea so that “when you get on the street you’ll know what to do.”

Instilling such habits is a priority for Safe Kids Midlands, an initiative of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital to prevent childhood injury by educating children about safety. The coalition includes firefighters, police officers, nurses, water safety experts, poison control employees, health workers, disabilities board employee and parents.

Safe Kids Midlands presented bicycle helmets and backpacks to each of Wednesday’s participants.

About 100 Kohl’s associates joined the campers Wednesday. The company made a $15,000 donation to Safe Kids Midlands and another $15,000 to the Lexington Family YMCA.

“It’s an awesome event,” said Kohl’s district manager Phillip Daniels. “We’re going to keep it going.”

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