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Kids get a healthy dose of education at Penn State Mont Alto Pediatric Health Fair

May 03, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

MONT ALTO, Pa.-- Penn State Mont Alto gave area children a healthy dose of education and exercise Saturday during its second annual Pediatric Health Fair.

Hosted by the nursing, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and forestry departments of the university, the fair used games, mazes and more to show children and parents unique ways to live healthy and active lives.

Dr. Linda Carl, nursing instructor and faculty sponsor for the event, said everyone learns at the fair.

"Nursing, OT, PT and forestry had new ways to learn about pediatric health care and disease prevention," she said. "The children and their parents were able to learn how to live healthy lives through interactive games."

For 6-year-old Cheyenne Smith, learning to use crutches, playing with the parachute and touring the Life Lion helicopter was a "great time."

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"I liked doing the crutches because I got to follow the line," she said. "I never had a broken leg."

Carl said the physical therapy department wanted children to understand physical handicaps by using walkers, wheelchairs and crutches.

Many things were different this year, Carl said.

Among the changes was a nature walk hosted by the forestry department. The walk around campus introduced children to plants they should not eat and trees that could save their lives.

Parents agreed that the day was time well-spent.

"Anything we can do to educate our children while entertaining them at the same time is worth our while," said Heather Smith of Rouzerville, Pa.

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