Madison County Public Health brought the Jenn Swing, a swing designed to fit the needs of children with disabilities, to three community playgrounds. “Children learn through play. The playground is a space for children to practice their social skills, motor skills, and more as they grow and develop,” says Karen Burgwin, Community Health Worker for Public Health.
Playgrounds that promote inclusiveness allow children of all abilities do what all kids want to do: play. The Jenn swing offers children and youth with special needs the opportunity to have fun and participate in recreational activities with their peers. “This can also help promote a sense of independence and confidence,” said Burgwin. The swings were funded by a Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs grant through New York State Department of Health.
The swings were installed at the Carlon Field playground in Munnsville, Veterans Memorial Park in Oneida, and the Wampsville Community Park. Each municipality installed the swing in time for peak play season. The Jenn swing has a harness to support the child using it and has a weight limit of 125 pounds. Look for the royal blue swing at these playgrounds!
Promoting community engagement is just one piece of the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs program. The program also provides health information, resources, and referrals for children under the age of 21 with a disability and/or suspected disability.
Program staff can provide linkages to supports, advocacy, transition information, trainings, and community resources based on the needs of the child and their family. Assistance includes, but is not limited to: finding doctors, specialists, health insurance, community agencies, regional resources, mental health resources, disability-specific information; making referrals to other programs and services with parent consent. The program offers these services at no cost to the family.
Please call Madison County Public Health at 315-366-2361 or visit online at https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/445/Children-and-Youth-With-Special-Healthca for more information or to make a referral to the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program.