WVU Medicine Children’s Kids Fair promotes health with activities, prizes

MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown Mall was wall-to-wall with activities and informational booths Saturday for the WVU Medicine Children’s Kids Fair.
This year’s theme, “Healthy Ever After” prompted the attendance of princesses, and kids were encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook characters.
Kevin Hamric, senior public relations and marketing strategist at WVU Medicine, said there were 53 exhibitors, including free health and safety assessments.
“There’s everything from medication safety and mental health awareness to dietary stuff, child seat safety checks are outside with the sheriff and children’s safety and injury and prevention specialists,” Hamric said.
Hamric said this year marks the 21st Kids Fair for the hospital, which is all about kids having fun, while learning something along the way.
“We always have a great turnout whether it’s sunshine and 70 outside or whether it’s snowing and raining,” he said.
Christine Haufe, coordinator of the WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program, talked with kids and parents about safety and wellness. Topics included car seat safety and summer safety, such as how to be safe around a swimming pool.
On the wellness side of things, kids were learning about being active and eating healthy, as well as getting their blood glucose levels checked to help catch early signs of diabetes.
“We have our Child Life Program here and they are providing some distraction and just trying to help keep the child calm during the procedure,” Haufe said.
She said healthy behaviors instituted in childhood will go with them through the years.
“That’s the great thing about having a Kid’s Fair. Sometimes people don’t want to go to the doctor’s, they don’t want to go to the hospital, they’re afraid. This kind of puts it in a safe environment to really do something about education,” Haufe said.
Cathy Richards, manager of Children’s Transport, and her team were giving tours of an ambulance. The children were learning safety around the ambulance, and the inner workings of the life-saving vehicle.
Richards also said kids could test their oxygen saturation.
She said seeing the inside of an ambulance shows the kids it’s not something to be afraid of.
“When they realize that we’re actually helping kids and when they see it going down the road that we’re doing something good for the kids,” she said.
She said a lot of the boys wanted to see the front of the truck, rather than the back so the team was allowing the kids to see that as well. Of course, being in the mall they couldn’t run the sirens, even though the kids were asking about it.
“A lot of the kids come around here and they’re really curious about it but they’re maybe afraid to get in, and once they get in they see that it’s not so scary in there and we’re doing good things,” she said.

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