The network of children’s health and welfare promotion has continued to expand, and the work around the topic connects professionals, experts, trainers, researchers and enterprises from different fields. During the three conference days, 120 participants visited the Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki Conference. The international guests arrived from Sweden, Norway, England, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and Namibia.
On Wednesday, 13 March, participants from seven countries attended the meeting on research collaboration. All participants announced their commitment to continue the cooperation in research and development work. In the negotiations, common areas of interest were discovered from research on the lifestyles of families to a holistic approach in promoting the health of children and families as well as carrying out related clinical research.
– Research is needed in order to monitor the effectiveness of various measures to promote health and wellbeing and the status of health and wellbeing of children and young people. International cooperation is important in order to share best practices, says Helli Kitinoja, Chairman of the Conference Committee, from Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.
The conference lectures highlighted the role of parents in making healthy choices. Also, the importance of mental wellbeing in the holistic welfare of children and families emerged in many conversations and speeches.
Introduced in the conference, the Seinäjoki Model aims at reducing childhood obesity and involves multidisciplinary cooperation between the joined forces of the city as well as continuous development efforts. The next step in Seinäjoki is to involve families and all the city residents. The conference presented the British model in which residents are included in the health-promotion efforts by utilising social media and an electronic platform. Digital technology is going to be utilised more in future work to promote the health of children, young people and families in Seinäjoki.