Pearl River Central Middle School hosted the Family Health Expo on Thursday, which featured more than 20 vendors offering a variety of health care options and advice. Suppliers provide information about mental, physical and spiritual health.
This year’s Family Health Show brought together representatives from Picayune Smiles, Picayune Taekwondo, Picayune Eye Clinic and more. Information is available on the negative health effects of smoking and using vaping products, and nurses at Highlands Community Hospital are checking blood pressure.
At booths displaying information about vaping products and tobacco use, students learned that both substances cause equal damage to the lungs. Juuls and other forms of e-cigarettes are commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, and many of them contain tobacco. Some cigarette companies mix other drugs or chemicals into tobacco, such as lead. In promoting tobacco to households, PRC Penny Holifield’s Nursing says,
“We basically tell them they need to understand that tobacco is a drug because it has nicotine, which is an addictive substance, it’s more addictive. It’s a starter drug, and if you’re willing to start smoking, then You might be willing to try other things later in life.”
Brandon Herrin, Chief of Campus Police for the Pearl River County School District, demonstrated the feeling of intoxication through a visual. The effect was due to having attendees wear drunken goggles, which impair a person’s vision, to simulate drinking three beers. His focus is on raising awareness about the many things children and young people can get involved with, like alcohol.
“It can ruin your life in seconds, and that’s what it’s all about, with them (the kids), with the family,” Herring said.
Herring said he sees many families at local sporting events every day, and he strives to build good relationships with campus staff and community residents.
West Union Baptist Church provides books and flyers about life that guide the spiritual growth of young children and teens. Their purpose is to emphasize that mental health is as important as physical and mental health.
“Emotional and spiritual things end up affecting your body…if you can fix that, then it’s like a domino effect,” said Western Union Baptist representative Marilyn Childe.
Picayune Eye Clinic is on-site to provide families with vision tips and the importance of protecting their eyesight.
“Especially now that everyone is using digital devices, we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of kids needing glasses,” said Dr Bonnie Keaton.
Too much screen time can cause eyestrain, headaches, and various other visual problems. Doctors at the Picayune Eye Clinic discuss the importance of eye health with children and teach them to take a break from screens using simple strategies. They teach the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of using electronic devices, it is recommended to take a 20-second break and look at things 20 feet away.
“It helps relax the eyes,” Keaton says.
Picayune Taekwondo brought two students to demonstrate how Taekwondo can help children fight various health problems.
William Wilbanks and Dakota Ketchens both began studying the art of marriage at the age of 3 and 4. Their trainer Bret Berras (the head coach of Picayune kickboxing) says their self-motivation is through the roof.
Taekwondo is a toughness-building martial art. It also hits the three pillars of health; mental, spiritual and physical. Picayune Taekwondo is based on Christianity, so students pray before each practice. It also builds confidence and discipline. The five principles of taekwondo are politeness, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and perseverance, and Picayune taekwondo students live by these principles every day.