Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) held a fun day on Wednesday in Bannon Park in Portsmouth provided an enlightening, creative way for children to learn about important health related topics.
Debbie Daniels, medical staff liaison of SOMC, said SOMC Fun Day is something they look forward to hosting each year for children who participate in The Counseling Center’s Summer Outreach Program.
“We put this event on every year, at the end of the summer. We know that the Summer Outreach Camp is almost over, so we decided to do an obstacle course, and Brad Zieber has been in charge of that,” Daniels said. “We’ve got educational tents set up, tobacco, nutrition and we also have a stress tent set up here to teach the kids about stress, and last but not least, we have Dr. TJ Stidham here to teach, ‘Grossology’. The kids have really enjoyed going through the tubes this year, and have had such a good time going through the stations.”
SOMC Fun Day was made possible through a variety of different avenues of help.
“Our SOMC Pediatric Providers are a big part of this, Dr. Stidham is one of the pediatricians here, along with some of his staff and office manager, Hilary Blakeman, and we have several members of the SOMC staff as well. We also have the SOMC Junior volunteers, and the River Days candidates assisting us, of which I believe all of them are here, except for one.”
Daniels also said each child participating in the SOMC Fun Days will receive water bottles with engraved with a beach ball design.
Brad Zieber, manager of SOMC Performance Training, said the objective is to teach children how to develop good habits early on in their lives.
“Today we came out to 14th Street to do an obstacle course for the kids that involves not only physical exercise, but also education on healthy eating and drinking, and avoiding the use of tobacco, that way they have full rounded education on not only physical exercise, but overall health as well,” Zieber said. “That way the children will not develop bad habits because bad habits are hard to break. So we are trying to teach them early to develop good habits.”
Dr. TJ Stidham, SOMC pediatrician, taught lessons in ‘Grossology’ at SOMC Fun Day, said though the subject matter may be gross in nature, it is information children need to know.
“We are out here at the SOMC Fun Day doing one of the stations for the obstacle course, and ours is the ‘Grosslogy’ station. We have a lot going on teaching kids to be healthy,” Stidham said. “My station is the ‘gross’ station, teaching kids about gross things, and how gross things keeps us healthy. Everything from snot, to burps, you name it.”
Summer time is ideal for learning and discussing things such as ‘Grossology,’ and teaching teaching to live healthy lives, according to Stidham.
“We love doing this program during the summer with the kiddos, while they are not in school, and keeping them in a nice environment where they can learn, and have fun safely,” Stidham said. “And for us, as far as these particular things, we are trying to teach kids to be healthy, although some of the things that we talk about are gross. I think that it is nice for kids to be comfortable with gross things, that way if we are embarrassed all of the time it can make things awkward, and make things more difficult socially. So its nice to kind of talk about the gross things in public so we know that gross things keep us healthy, and also to know that gross things to avoid.”