Overall goals of Baby Buggy Walk in the Park:
- Raise awareness in minority communities about disparities in infant mortality rates and what can be done at individual, family and community levels to reduce infant mortality;
- Influence positive health behaviors among target populations and reinforce the connection between preconception health and better birth outcomes;
- Build local, regional and national support for Healthy Start's grassroots infant mortality prevention initiatives across sectors and across cities;
- Promote exercise and personal achievement of health and fitness goals by coordinating a walk for event attendees of all ages and abilities.
While the themes and activities of your Baby Buggy Walk in the Park event will vary depending on many factors – such as the needs of your target population, your location, sponsorships and your own objectives for the event – there are three elements that your Baby Buggy Walk in the Park event will need to have:
- A fun and fitness theme. The vision for this event is for families to come together to have fun and learn to make healthy choices in process. While events with a more serious and solemn concept can be very effective in raising awareness about infant mortality, the Baby Buggy "brand" emphasizes learning and behavior change through fun activities.
- A family walk with baby buggies. As fitness is a central component, the event should include a walk and take place in a location where families are permitted to walk with strollers.
- Baby Buggy Walk in the Park branding. Many Healthy Start projects have been organizing similar community awareness events for some time. You are free to continue to use the name that you've established, but your event should incorporate the Baby Buggy Walk in the Park branding in your event concept (including building the event around fitness, health education and activities that children of all ages and families can participate in), and in promotional materials (incorporating the Baby Buggy logo, as well as other appropriate logos and messaging).
You should hold your Baby Buggy Walk in the Park on September 21, 2013 (any exceptions to that date must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center and National Healthy Start Association). September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month and by holding events in multiple cities on the same day, Healthy Start underscores the magnitude of this important issue. Annually, thereafter, the date will be set jointly by OMHRC and NHSA so as to build this as a signature Infant Mortality Awareness Month event with increasing national recognition.
Some other ideas to consider for your Baby Buggy Walk in the Park:
- Breastfeeding and diaper changing stations
- Health screenings and educational booths sponsored by local vendors
- Healthy food preparation demos
- Raffles and prizes
- Arts and crafts
- Face painting
- Jump rope and hula hoop contests
- Prenatal yoga or Zumba class
- Involvement by local sports figures (a great way to get fathers out to the event!) or media personalities
The possibilities are infinite. If time permits, you may want to survey your clients to determine what activities interest them.Now, let's get started planning your Baby Buggy Walk in the Park!
Office of Minority Health Resource Center