By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterApril 4, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 4, 2013) -- As part of Month of the Military Child, Fort Rucker Child, Youth and School Service's youth sports program will hold the fourth annual Health, Nutrition and Fitness Fair April 10 from 2-4:30 p.m. at the teen center in Bldg. 2800.
The purpose of the event is to educate Families on where their teens stand on health and fitness, according to Randy Tolison, CYSS youth sports director.
"We want to educate those who attend on various areas of their life whether it be vision, hearing, weight, mental health or nutrition as well as hand out information that they might find useful," he said.
Anyone that is employed at Fort Rucker can attend the event with an accompanying youth.
"We want them to know what it is like to be healthy and how easy it can be to live a healthy or healthier lifestyle, what it means to have a healthy, nutritious diet, and that we are here for them and can help them be better people," said Tolison.
Many different medical representatives will be in attendance such as from the eye, ear, nose and throat center from Lyster Army Health Clinic as well as representatives from active clubs such as Head, Hands, Heart and Health.
"We will have a chef showing attendees sugar amounts in drinks, and we will have height and weight checks, hearing and vision screenings, and the event will also feature blood pressure checks," said Tolison.
"We want [the children] to be knowledgeable about where they stand heath wise. We are just here to present the information and to help where we can. We want them to make better decisions concerning their health no matter their lifestyle," he added.
The vendor representatives will give out information such as ways to cut out sugars in a child's diet or how to encourage a child to be more active, said Tolison.
"The vendors can tell parents, 'Hey, your child is a little overweight, here is what you can do to get them to a healthier weight.' They will educate people on how to get better, healthy snacking alternatives, low impact and safe exercises, and how to generally live a healthier life so they can have a longer one," he said.
Though the main focus of the fair is health concerns in teens, the event is not prescription driven, according to the sports director.
"We are not telling parents that they have to take their child to the doctor. They will get printouts at certain booths that have their child's percentile on it, but we are not looking to diagnose anyone," he said.
The fair will not only address health and fitness, but safety will also be a major subject at the event.
Some of the other vendor representatives to help address safety, mental health and fitness are Fort Rucker Fire and Emergency Services , child and youth behavioral military Family life consultants, community police, Directorate of Public Safety, preventive medicine services, and the auto craft and bowling centers.
"A lot of people might not realize that working on a car might be medicinal for a young teenager. They get stress relief, they get outside and it makes them apply themselves," he said.
Tolison also said that he hopes the fair will help prevent illnesses that are related to unhealthy living habits.
"There are a lot of illnesses related to obesity. Diabetes goes hand-in-hand with obesity and we want to educate everyone how to stay healthy so that it is not a concern. It can be prevented, and if we can help teens prevent an illness, that is what we want to accomplish," he said, adding that it is unfortunate that young people are getting into an obese cycle, but that he is trying his best to turn that cycle around.
It is important, according to the sports director, not only for teens to recognize the importance of healthy living but for the Army to recognize the needs of its military children.
"Whether it is weight, image or illnesses, they have issues on making the right choices on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The Army has a positive influence over them because of their parents who have to stay in shape, and children mimic what mom and dad do. They are not perfect, though, so we cannot become complacent on their health or weight," he said.
For more information, call 255-9105 or 255-2257.