A Health & Safety Fair Get Children Ready For School

As summer vacation winds down many parents are heading out to shop for school supplies and uniforms. However, two local civic groups say there is more to be done before children are ready to head back to the classroom. On Saturday the Kiwanis Club and American Legion Post 77 sponsored their annual Children's Health and Safety Fair in Waveland so health care workers can catch the little ones' minor health problems before they become major ones.

A machine looked into Nicholas' eyes and tells his mother something he's too young to express himself. The 3 year old is far-sighted and needs prescription glasses.

His mother Valerie Edenfield said, "If it wouldn't have been for the health fair here we most probably would have let it go and he would have had some significant problems in his eyes."

"Now and then in these screenings we happen to find a few of kids that have some serious eye problems that just are undiscovered, because they don't know what to say to their parents or they just think that's how it's supposed to be," Dr. James Beningo, an Optometrist said.

Organizers of the Children's Health and Safety Fair said there are many families who want to be more pro-active in their children's health care but can't afford it.

Kiwanis member Terry Lathan said "Sending all your kids, if you have several children to the dentist to get check ups--that just may not happen. That may not be in the cards, but we give them a chance to go ahead and insure that their children are in reasonably good health and are gonna have a good school year."

Dr. Frank Conaway says access to good health care is a problem all over the country, that's why he teaches children how to avoid added trips to the dentist.

"If they're not brushing very well, we try to show them areas that they're not doing good and if they have a cavity that I can see, I want to point that out so they understand they need to get that fixed," said Dr. Conaway.

The Children's Health and Safety Fair also featured information for parents on medical insurance, nutrition and fire safety.