The Back-to-School campaign organised by the Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), to mark the start of the new academic year, has concluded after raising awareness of and promoting healthy lifestyle habits to ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of children and youth.Launched on SCFO’s social media platforms in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Community Protection and the Sharjah Children – Al Qarayen Sharjah, the campaign gave children and parents an opportunity to benefit from the guidance and tips offered by a host of experts on children’s health, who also laid emphasis on making time for play and exercise.Through various sessions held as part of the campaign, parents were educated on global studies that highlight the importance of physical activities and the need for children to exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes daily. Through the activities designed for children and their families, the SCFO campaign shone a light on the physical and psychological benefits of play in strengthening a host of values and skills in children such as self-confidence, mental growth, collaboration, tolerance, and the nurturing of imagination and creativity.In line with the campaign’s objectives of educating families and empowering them with the skills needed at the start of the new academic year, SCFO met with parents at the Sharjah Children – Al Qarayen and underscored the importance of a balanced healthy diet that provides the necessary calories, energy and nutrients. SCFO also raised awareness of the dangers of consuming junk food that are low in nutritional value and contain high levels of fat and sugar.

SCFO drew attention to several other healthy behaviours such as drinking sufficient amounts of water and engaging in physical exercise that have a positive impact on a child’s academic performance. Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, underscored the importance of the campaign in elevating healthy lifestyles and contributing to the enhanced health of children and young adults alike. Dr. Al Rand remarked that the ministry prioritises the good health and quality of life of future generations through its awareness campaigns and initiatives that focus on healthy lifestyles and practices.The Assistant Under-Secretary further underlined the importance of SCFO’s campaign in driving awareness on the importance of adopting healthy dietary and physical activity practices, and shedding light on the importance of exercise, balanced sleeping hours, and moderate screen time, among others. He lauded SCFO’s campaign and its targeted goal of ensuring that children and youth enjoy the highest levels of health and safety at schools and in their homes. Commenting on the campaign, Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, said that the back-to-school preparation period provided a perfect opportunity to reconnect with families and parents, noting that the activities organised as part of the campaign shed light on essential health habits that will ensure the wellbeing of children and their academic excellence. “Our annual campaign highlights and asserts that aspiring for good academic results and ensuring that children remain focused on their studies does not have to be at the cost of denying their rights to play, enjoy, and have fun. These rights are crucial to children’s overall health and sense of wellbeing and pave the way for their development and learning,” she added.

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