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Kids roll up sleeves, learn about health

April 05, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - The use of bedpans made the biggest impression on some Eastern Elementary first-graders who spent Friday afternoon at Robinwood Medical Center learning about hospitals and discussing safety.

"I learned that if you need to go to the bathroom, you have to use a container," Kierstan Hahn, 7, said after she visited a learning station about staying in the hospital.

"I learned that if you can't stand up or walk or go to the bathroom, you have to go to the bathroom in a cup," 7-year-old Charlie Pandolfi said.

During the past week, almost 1,300 first-graders from the county have participated in the educational activities offered at Robinwood by the Washington County Health System, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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The day's activities were meant to show children that hospitals are not scary places, said Nicole Jovel, hospital spokeswoman. The health system has been holding the event for several years, she said.

At one learning station, Hagerstown Community College radiography students showed children X-ray slides.

Some were X-rays of toys, others of people. One showed a nail through someone's hand and another showed a coin lodged in someone's airway.

Representatives from the health department led students in a trivia game, quizzing them about vehicle and bicycle safety.

Madeline Blash, 6, thought the field trip was good, she said.

She learned how to push a button to call a nurse if someone needs food in the hospital, Madeline said.

First-grade teacher Shannon Spurrier thought Friday's activities were wonderful, she said. Her students seemed interested, and were behaving well, Spurrier said.

A pediatric nurse showed students a small, first-grade size wheelchair, a children's hospital bed and the bedpans. In the next learning station, a pharmacist talked to the students about different poisons and of the importance of asking adults before eating or drinking anything unusual.

The poison station was 7-year-old Christopher Vasquez's favorite, and he learned not to touch poisons, he said.

Emily Alexander, 7, learned that people should always wear helmets when riding bicycles and that she should always talk to her mother before drinking stuff, she said.

Her favorite part of the day was the trivia game, Emily said. From that game, she learned that it's never safe to play in the street and that people should not cross the street if they see a car coming, she said.

Rose Pierce, 6, also had fun, she said. The trivia game was also her favorite because it helped her learn about safety, she said.

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