Staying active throughout our lives can help prevent a number of health problems like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Giving children chances to play at a young age can instill the importance of being active. It can also help them to make exercise part of their daily lives.
Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 children lives within walking distance of a playground or park, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means millions of kids don’t get to play safely outside often.
To help with this problem, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) partners with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for children to safely play outside.
BCBSIL helps KaBOOM! provide safe play spaces for thousands of kids every year by joining with community partners to build safe playgrounds where there were none.
Hundreds of our employees volunteer each year to build these playgrounds. The nearby communities are involved in these projects, too. The communities take care of the playgrounds after they are built. This helps build a sense of pride and satisfaction in the communities.
Over the last few years, we have built 47 playgrounds in the communities we serve.
This year, we will be going to many former sites to spruce them up by painting and planting flowers. We also will be providing health literacy education and offering on-site fitness activities.