Health fair covers broad range

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson While her 3-year-old son Leonardo looks on, Nadia Martinez, top right, gets a lesson from Karen Burns of the Clovis Fire Department on installing an infant child seat for her 3-month-old child Ibana during Wednesday’s Cameo Health Fair.

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers

Fingerprinting, immunizations, search-and-rescue dogs, fire safety, hygiene, infant car-seat installation instructions — if there’s a public service message it was probably presented Wednesday at the eighth annual Cameo Health Fair.

Curry County Wellness Council Coordinator Terri Marney said turnout at the event was more than double previous years with approximately 600 children attending.

“They kept coming. It was a good draw,” she said.

Vendors representing about 30 agencies and organizations ranging from the fire department to physical therapy specialists gave demonstrations and handed out materials. The event lasted all day at Cameo Elementary School.

“We’ve had a big turnout — probably the biggest turnout I’ve seen,” Steve Garcia with the Clovis Fire Department said.

“From the time we opened up the doors it hasn’t slowed,” the 21-year department veteran said as children and their parents filtered by, grabbing fire and safety stickers and coloring books from the table in front of him.

Fellow firefighter Rodney Alanis said a lot of the kids recognized firefighters from previous school demonstrations but the health fair provided an opportunity for local organizations to reach out to parents as well.

“It’s good education for everybody. The greatest part is seeing the parents out with the kids,” he said.

Janet Davis with the physical therapy center at Plains Regional Medical Center watched as one child after another took turns in an exercise designed to improve balance, agility and coordination. In the exercise participants struck alternating light and sound targets with gloved hands of a special staff.

Davis said the exercise is a favorite with kids and adults.

“We’re trying to get kids off the couch and moving,” she said.

In a picnic area, David Soria, 7, was all smiles as he opened a can of soda with his parents and siblings by his side. David said the one activity he planned to avoid was the immunizations clinic.

“I’m not getting shots,” the soon-to-be second-grader said, explaining he had just had a shot not long ago.