Weber-Morgan safety fair teaches children about health, wellness

Sunday , April 21, 2013 - 8:57 AM

Renee Brockbrader learns how a hypodermic needle works at a Safe Kids Day Fair booth. (BRIAN...

Jamie Lampros

OGDEN — Crystall Linder’s teddy bear Marie had a bad case of swine flu, so she took him to see Dr. Justin White at the Golden Spike Arena.

“She’s been sick for a long time with swine flu, and the doctor gave her two shots and told her to rest for two weeks,” the Ogden youngster said.

Crystall was attending the Teddy Bear Clinic at the fourth annual Safe Kids Day Fair on Saturday. The free event, sponsored by the Weber-Morgan Health Department, Ogden Clinic, Zero Fatalities and the Safe Kids Weber-Morgan Coalition, is aimed at educating children about injury prevention, health and wellness and emergency preparedness.

“I think the fair is a really good thing,” Crystall said. “It teaches kids so many different ways to stay safe.”

Accidental injuries are the No. 1 killer of children in the U.S., said Jann Fawcett, Weber-Morgan’s Safe Kids Day coordinator. They include suffocation, drownings, motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, fires, falls and poisonings.

“The important thing to remember about preventable injuries is that they are preventable,” she said. “Safe Kids works to do everything we can so kids can grow up to do everything they can.”

Kids participated in more than 90 interactive booths that included a bike rodeo, health screenings, face painting, a petting farm, healthy ways to care for your pets and demonstrations by local fire and police departments.

“I like almost all of it here,” said 8-year-old Miles Cruz. “It’s good to learn everything so kids don’t get kidnapped and stuff and to wear helmets so you don’t break your head.”

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Brent Baranko and Dr. Michael Hall said this time of year they see a lot of injuries involving trampolines, skateboarding, long boarding and bicycles.

“At Ogden Clinic, we frequently see broken arms, broken legs, spine and head injuries from trampoline use,” Baranko said. “Most of the injuries we see on trampolines occur in children between ages 5 and 14.”

Baranko said, typically when a child is injured on a trampoline it’s because they are unsupervised. He said the American Academy of Orthopedics and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend placing the trampoline in a pit or at ground level, parental supervision, only allowing one person at a time to jump and removing ladders from the trampoline so smaller children can’t climb on. In addition, he said netting devices around the trampoline can give a false sense of security, so never take your eyes off your children while they are jumping.

Concussions from sports such as soccer and lacrosse are another type of injury the medical community is seeing, said both physicians.

“I am also seeing a lot of fractures from soccer players,” Hall said. “I see a lot of lower- and upper-extremity fractures, with wrists and ankles being the main problem for kids ages 2 to 18.”

A great way to prevent injuries is to make sure kids stay active all year, Hall said. Swimming, basketball and running around the gym are all worthwhile activities to be involved in during the winter months. Stretching will also help avoid many injuries.

Jackson Carter, “Utah’s Biggest Loser” finalist, also joined the fun at the fair. Carter, who said he was a heavy kid his whole life, participated in a workout session with audience members.

“Now that I can see things from the other side and I can understand what contributed to that, I want to help kids especially, but parents and families to understand that this is not a diet. It’s a healthy lifestyle.”

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