World Sickle Cell Day

On June 19th, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Sickle Cell Day!

SiNERGe (NorthEast ReGion through Education), in collaboration with Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA), is holding a 24-hour awareness called “Shine the Light on Sickle Cell.” There will be events around the nation and across the globe to bring attention to finding a universal cure for sickle cell disease. To find an event near you, visit the Shine the Light Facebook page.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. When sickle cells travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome, and stroke.

It is estimated that SCD affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States, mainly African Americans. SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa; regions in the Western Hemisphere such as South America, the Caribbean, and Central America; Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

Children with SCD can, and should, participate in physical activity to help stay healthy, but they should maintain a balanced body temperature, getting neither too hot nor too cold. It’s important that they don’t overdo it, rest when tired, and drink plenty of water. Therefore, in a playground it’s important to have shade, water fountains, benches, and gathering spaces.

For more information about shade, picnic tables, and benches that make it easier for children with SCD to visit the playground, visit our Site Furnishings page.

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