Children's health fair at Legacy

By Edward Stratton, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 
Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center

— From healthy posture to escaping a burning building, it takes a village to raise a child.

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center will bring together professionals from across Clark County 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11 to provide parents and their children every manner of health and safety advice.

Admission is free, but the hospital is sponsoring a food drive for The Children's Center, which provides mental health services to children, youth and families. It needs peanut butter, tuna and other canned meat, pasta and sauce, rice, beans and other staples.

New Additions

Family physicians from across the county will offer free health advice and answer questions for parents and children.

"I see so much like back pain and obesity, even for children," says Dr. Jeanie White, who will come in from Legacy's Battle Ground Clinic. "(It's) trying to help parents understand that they need to be the solution."

White says a lack of time often prevents parents from doing their part to promote healthy lifestyles for their children. She wants parents to make healthy choices -- cooking meals, smaller portions, turning off the television more often, balancing exercise with dieting and spending more time with children -- the highest daily priority.

Outside WSU Vancouver Cooperative Extension's Germ City tent, participants will wash their hands and rub on some Glo Germ lotion. Black lights in the tent wil reveal to them how much bacteria they left behind.

A Bevy of Activities

Brian Willoughby, spokesman for the hospital, says Legacy partners with various clinics and other institutions across the county to provide wide-ranging knowledge. Many of the hospital's internal departments also participate. Here's some of the offerings in store:

  • Volunteers will sell $5 bicycle helmets and offer free fittings.
  • There will be a poison station teaching children how to tell the difference between edibles and chemicals.
  • YMCA will hold a soccer shootout on the hospital's lawn.
  • Clark County Fire District 6 will borrow the Vancouver Fire Department's EDITH fire escape drill house, in which kids must use their their smarts to escape a smoke-filled room.
  • There will be ambulance tours and showcases of other emergency and public safety vehicles.
  • The Suzi Surgi-Duck stuffed animal will be on hand and opened up for children to operate on.
  • There will be a recycling center for used child safety seats.

Keep Your Back Arched and Your Backpack Light

A less flashy but more common prevalent issue for families is bad posture. Aubrie Strickland of Family Chiropractic At Salmon Creek, Inc. says "21st century," forward-leaning posture is the most detrimental part of bad posture.

"When they come in, we take a picture of them against our posture grid, she says. "We show them their misalignment then give them suggestions about posture."

Chiropractors will also lead attendees in posture and balance practices including "the stork," or standing on one leg for at least 30 seconds.

The chiropractic clinic will also show children how to properly where backpacks. Strickland says that beyond correct placement, packs should never be more than 15 percent of one's body weight.