Pearl River Central High School held its Family Health Fair on Thursday, an event that brought together more than 20 providers offering a variety of health care options and tips. Vendors provided information related to mental, physical and spiritual health.
This year’s Family Health Fair featured representatives from Picayune Smiles, Picayune Taekwondo, Picayune Eye Clinic and more. Information about the negative health effects caused by smoking and vaping product use was available and nurses at Highland Community Hospital were checking blood pressure.
At the booth displaying information about vaping products and tobacco use, students learned that both substances cause the same amount of damage to the lungs. Juuls and other forms of electronic cigarettes are commonly referred to as vapes, and many contain tobacco. Some cigarette companies mix other drugs or chemicals with the tobacco, such as lead. When it comes to educating families about tobacco, PRC Nursing Department Penny Holifield said:
“We basically tell them that they have to understand that tobacco is a drug because it contains nicotine which is an addictive substance, it’s more addictive. It’s a gateway drug, if you’re ready to start smoking you might want to try something else later in life.
Pearl River County School District Campus Police Chief Brandon Herrin gave a visual demonstration of what it’s like to be intoxicated. This effect was caused by the participants wearing drunk glasses that impaired the person’s vision to simulate being drunk from three beers. His goal was to raise awareness that there are many things children and young adults can get involved in, such as alcohol.
“It can ruin your life in seconds, that’s what it’s mostly about, getting involved with them (the kids) and getting involved with the families,” Herrin said.
Herrin says he sees a lot of families at local sporting events and on a daily basis, and strives to build good relationships with campus staff and people in the community.
The West Union Baptist Church offered life books and pamphlets that provided guidance on spiritual growth to young children and teens. Their goal was to emphasize that the importance of spiritual health is as important as mental and physical health.
“Emotions and spiritual things will eventually affect you physically…if you can deal with them, then it’s like a domino effect,” said West Union Baptist Church representative Marilyn Schielder.
The Picayune Eye Clinic was on hand to give families advice on vision and the importance of protecting their vision.
“Especially with everyone on digital devices these days, we’re seeing a big increase in the number of kids needing glasses,” said Dr Bonnie Keaton.
Too much time spent in front of a screen can cause eyestrain, headaches and various other visual problems. Doctors at the Picayune Eye Clinic have been emphasizing the importance of eye health with children and teaching them to take breaks using a simple tactic. They teach the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of using an electronic device, the suggestion is to pause for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away.
“It helps relax the eyes,” Keaton said.
Picayune Taekwondo brought two students to show how Taekwondo can help children with various health issues.
Both William Wilbanks and Dakota Ketchens began learning the marital art at ages 3 and 4. Their instructor, Bret Berras (Head Instructor at Picayune Taekwondo), said their self-motivation was high.
Taekwondo is a martial art that develops strength. It also hits the three pillars of health; spiritual, mental and physical. Picayune Taekwondo is based on Christianity, so students pray before each practice. It also builds confidence and discipline. The five tenets of taekwondo are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and Picayune Taekwondo students live by these tenets every day.