Right now, many people across the country are working remotely, and many of them with young children at home from school. Parents are balancing priorities, including work, teaching their children, and staying healthy. To help parents and educators manage some of that balance, Fresenius Medical Care has created The Kidney Kid.
An “edutainment” program, The Kidney Kid is a superhero that takes children on adventures to learn about their kidneys and how to stay healthy. The program includes a website, free smartphone app, and games for children ages 6-12, offering activities for children to learn and have fun with their parents, caregivers, or teachers trying to teach from a distance.
“The Kidney Kid campaign is a great way to educate to students in a fun and engaging way,” said Bill Valle, Chief Executive Officer of Fresenius Medical Care North America. “At a time when staying healthy and well has never been more important, we are excited to provide this initiative to promote awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its risk factors, while teaching children how to lead healthy lives.”
While it’s important to make sure children are entertained and educated during school closings, it is also critical to promote awareness of CKD at an early age. Obesity is a primary risk factor for CKD among both children and adults, and renal impairment can be associated with obesity at a young age, according to the World Health Organization. 381 million children and adolescents aged 0-19 were overweight or obese in 2016, making it essential to ensure that kids stay active in order to curb the risk of CKD.
The Kidney Kid website is home to the program, where families can learn more and access resources such as comics, activities, games, and videos. Later this month, parents can also order a kit of materials for their children from the same website. Interactive materials like capes, masks, bags, balloons, and stickers help engage and entertain children while learning about their “super organ,” the kidneys.
In the game app, available in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, children take on the persona of the Kidney Kid as they run, jump, fly, swim, and dash through a series of challenges to collect food and drinks that support healthy kidneys, while promoting physical activity and helping them solve mysteries in the imaginary town of Whippington.
This campaign began in the Asia-Pacific region of Fresenius Medical Care in 2017. The initiative expanded digitally and internationally in 2020 and was launched on World Kidney Day (March 12).