ROCKINGHAM – According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years with more than one-third of children and adolescents considered overweight or obese in 2012
- Obese children are more likely to have prediabetes and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems including poor self-esteem
With this information in mind, the 2016 Kids’ Day and National Safe Kids Day program – to be hosted by FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital on Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon – will offer nutrition counseling and BMI assessments designed to encourage children to make better food choices. Richmond County pediatrician Patrick Egbe, M.D., of Choice Pediatrix, and the Richmond 2020 Vision Group will provide the information.
This annual special day for children will also feature numerous health screenings as well a variety of fun activities and the opportunity for kids to taste-test healthy snacks.
The screenings will include blood work for children ages 9 to 17 ($25 cost) and A1C tests, which are commonly used to diagnose types 1 and 2 diabetes ($10 cost), as well as the following tests that will be offered at no charge:
- Ear and throat checks, provided by Shamsul Khan, M.D., Richmond Pediatrics
- Glucose finger sticks, provided by Mohamed Merghani, M.D., and Charlotte McNeil, FNP, MCM Pediatric and Adolescent Home Practice
- Vision and hearing checks, provided by MCM Pediatric and Adolescent Home Practice in coordination with the Rockingham Lions Club
- Urinalysis, provided by MCM Pediatric and Adolescent Home Practice and Richmond Memorial Hospital nursing directors
- Blood pressure checks, provided by Richmond Memorial Hospital nursing directors
Fun activities will feature Discovery Place – KIDS, ambulance and fire truck tours, visits with Sparky the Fire Dog and temporary tattoos. A handwashing station will also be featured, and bike helmets will be available at $5 each.
“Kids’ Day is one of our favorite events at Richmond Memorial,” says hospital President John Jackson, “because it’s a time to welcome children and youth to our hospital campus while encouraging them to engage in healthy and safe behaviors. We hope to see a record number of kids, and their parents, at our program this year. We have lots of great things planned for them.”
Kids’ Day is hosted by FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital with sponsorship assistance from the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation. For more information, call (910) 417-3735. All screens and tests require parent or legal guardian consent.