Parents, bring your kids out for a wild ride of fun at the Children's Health & Safety Expo at the Spring Hill Regional Hospital campus this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event's aim is to promote children's health and safety with fun activities and information for the family.
"We are happy to bring many of our community partners together with some great activities to educate parents and children," said Daniel Knell, interim chief officer for Spring Hill Regional Hospital, "It is a privilege to bring the Children's Health and Safety Expo to our community. We are looking forward to seeing so many of the families we have had the opportunity to serve over the years."
Balloons by Tony, face painting and refreshments will be available. The first 200 kids will get a free T-shirt and there will be door prizes given away.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis encourages every parent to attend this free expo. "It will provide useful information for both parents and their children on proper safety techniques. The goal, of course, is to minimize the potential for a tragedy. We, as parents, can never let our guard down."
Vickie Porter, community outreach coordinator for Brooksville & Spring Hill Regional Hospitals described what local agencies will be providing and other activities planned for the day.
"Our focus is to provide parents and children with information to educate them on staying healthy and safe," said Porter.
Participants will have an opportunity to meet physicians specializing in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, plus nurses and nutritionists.
BetteAnn Pelletier, RN, director of obstetrics at Spring Hill Regional Hospital is excited about the event and the importance of education on safety for parents and children.
"Education is one of our priorities," Pelletier said. "We start educating parents before their babies are born and continue that education after they take them home. The Children's Health and Safety Expo is an opportunity for our parents to visit with our nurses and physicians and learn about other services available in our community."
Pelletier described the event as a great opportunity for children to come to the hospital for a "fun" visit. "Make sure to bring a teddy bear to our Teddy Bear Clinic to meet some of our nurses."
The Teddy Bear Clinic will be available for children to bring a teddy bear and learn about what may happen when brought to an emergency room when a child needs medical care for an injury. It is an informative tour and demonstration with the child's teddy bear to lessen the fears prior to a real emergency.
Swimming pool demonstrations will be held to educate parents and children on being safe in and around water.
Assistant Chief Kevin Carroll with Spring Hill Fire Rescue expressed enthusiasm about the event as it brings awareness and education to families.
A 32-foot hook and ladder truck from Spring Hill and the Fire Safety House from their partners, Hernando County Fire Rescue District, will be on site for the event.
"The house provides a learning experience and an opportunity where kids learn about what to do in a fire emergency, which includes safety measures and best opportunities to exit a home safely." Carroll said.
The demonstrations provide an experience as to what could happen so they don't panic in the future, Carroll added.
"Children love to check out the equipment, they remember what they learn and can use it in real life," said Carroll. "These events are vital and we are glad to be apart of it."
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office and Spring Hill Regional Hospital partnered to provide ChildPrint ID kits. The kit includes a physical, medical and contact information area including physical characteristic description, a non-toxic 10-finger fingerprinting kit, DNA sample bag for a strand of hair and cheek swab, a pair of Safe Shoes Child ID labels, an area to store a 4x6 photograph, dental chart area for permanent and baby teeth, plus comprehensive safety tips for parents and children.
Withlacoochee River Electric Company will be providing information and education on being safe with electricity.
A car seat safety demonstration will be provided by the Florida Highway Patrol.
The Hernando County Anti-Drug Coalition will have teens teaching teens about the perils of drugs.
Other participating organizations include the Hernando County Health Department, Hernando County Emergency Management, United Way of Hernando County, and the YMCA of the Suncoast.