MORGANTOWN — As a nurse at WVU Medicine Children’s, Christine Haufe gets to see many babies after they are born and meet many of those babies’ families.
One of her favorite parts of her job is being able to watch those babies grow up into healthy kids, teenagers and adults.
That’s why she says events like WVU Medicine Children’s annual Kids Fair are so important.
“We really do want to make sure that our community is healthy, kids are staying active and eating right, and there’s a lot of activities centered around that,” said Haufe, also the Injury Prevention and Safety Program Coordinator at WVU Medicine Children’s. “Just making healthy lifestyle choices, it doesn’t have to be a big deal, just little things that we can do every day.”
On Saturday April 7, WVU Medicine Children’s hosted its annual Kids Fair at the Morgantown Mall for the 20th straight year.
“It really got started as a way of being able to come out into the community, interact, meet our providers and really promote wellness and health among children in our community,” Haufe said.
This year, 56 exhibitors set up booths and stations throughout the mall, each with various fun activities available for kids to learn about healthy habits.
Some of the exhibitors ranged from community groups like BOPARC and the West Virginia Black Bears to medical professionals from WVU Medicine’s different health services, such as paramedics, pediatricians and even dentists.
“We have all types of activities, from meeting with our trauma prevention team to fitting kids with helmets and making sure they’re safe when they ride their bikes and scooters,” Haufe said. “We even have our transport team here from WVU Medicine, and they are giving tours of our ambulance so you can see what it’s like.”
At many of the booths, free health assessments were available for kids on the spot, including blood pressure, flexibility and strength, lung function, hearing and vision.
One of the more popular activities among the kids was definitely the bounce house that BOPARC set up at the end of the mall.
Kevin Hamric, a marketing and communications specialist for WVU Medicine and one of the main organizers of the event, hopes that the kids that attend the fair take away a basic understanding of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“The thing that’s most important is that kids get a sense of making choices now for health and wellness for the rest of their lives,” he said. “So, it’s never too early to do these things and make these things habits.”