WVU pharmacy students teach children how to make healthy choices

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Proper nutrition, exercise, dental health and hygiene are parts of a healthy lifestyle, but how are children taught these concepts? Second-year West Virginia University School of Pharmacy students are making sure children learn that making healthier choices now will lead to better health in the future. 

The pharmacy students hosted a health and fitness day for children participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The “Wet Wild Wellness” health event was held Saturday, February 20, at the WVU Student Recreation Center.

Pharmacy students taught children the importance of hand washing by using a germ tent - a tent with a black light to illuminate fake germs placed on their hands - to show children how viruses and bacteria can be spread through hand contact. The children then washed their hands to see how many “germs” were removed by their hand washing techniques.

The Big Brother Big Sisters members created healthy snacks and participated in a taste test to experience foods they may not typically eat, such as papaya and kiwi. The pharmacy students also partnered with dentistry students to teach children about oral health and hygiene. The children ended the day with a pool party to learn exercise is fun.

The goal of the Wet Wild Wellness event was to teach children basic health management tips through fun learning activities so they can live healthier lives. The pharmacy students hope that the activities and discussions will help the children make healthier choices.

The pharmacy students also chose to focus on exercise, healthy eating habits and oral health to emphasize the objectives of the Healthy People 2010 initiative – to help individuals of all ages increase life expectancy and improve their quality of life by focusing on educational and community-based programs about nutrition and obesity, oral health, physical activity and fitness.

The students were partnered with the Big Brothers Big Sister organization through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement as part of their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience curriculum.

For information about the WVU School of Pharmacy see www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/.

Photo caption: Second-year pharmacy student Megan McCluskey applies “germs” to Big Brothers Big Sisters members’ hands to teach them the importance of handwashing.

About the WVU School of Pharmacy
For almost 100 years, the WVU School of Pharmacy has been a leader in pharmacy education, research and patient care. It is one of only 12 pharmacy schools in the United States affiliated with a comprehensive academic health center. For information about the WVU School of Pharmacy see www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/.



For more information:
Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
an: 02-22-10

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