Free Healthy Kids Day at Y
includes Olympic swimmer

Saturday the Rome Family YMCA will join YMCAs across the country to celebrate Healthy Kids Day — an event to help kids and families embrace healthy habits they can sustain for a lifetime. The event will be held at the Rome Family Y, 301 W. Bloomfield St., from 9 a.m. ­ 1 p.m. This is a free day open to the public.

The Rome Family Y welcomes Olympic swimmer, winner of three Olympic medals, Margaret Hoelzer from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Ms. Hoelzer is the national spokesperson for the National Children’s Advocacy Center; is a survivor of sexual abuse and "would like to share her story of courage, perseverance and overcoming the odds" with our youth, Y officials said. Additionally, she will be holding a swimming stroke clinic.

"Area residents can take part in free activities for kids of all ages and learn about health and wellness for the entire family," said hospital Director of Education Gale Barone, B.S., R.N.

Rome Memorial Hospital has partnered with the Rome Family Y to expand its annual Healthy Kids Day to offer more for all members of the family. There will be numerous educational displays and activities. Hospital professionals who will help you:

¿ Learn about preventing and treating sports injuries from Orthopedic Surgeon Elemer Raffai, MD, Rome Orthopedic and Sports Medicine;

¿ Learn how to recognize speech problems in children with Rome Memorial Hospital Speech Therapist Megan Breeze, M.S., CCC-SLP;

¿ Learn about your anatomy and overall good health with Lynne Philley, RN;

¿ Discover "Smoking is Not Cool" with Julie Smith, RN;

¿ Learn about diabetes in children from nurse educator Mary Rose Spellicy, RN; and

¿ Understand the benefits of "Hands Only CPR," demonstration and practice with Sandy Mahoney, BSN, RN, hospital Acute Care Clinical Educator and American Heart Association instructor.

Teens will learn how senses and perceptions are altered when under the influence of alcohol by walking while wearing a pair of specially designed goggles provided by the Community Recovery Center.

Visitors of all ages will be able to test their balance, learn how a healthy lifestyle can build healthy bones and make their own trail mix snack at the hospital’s "Good Nutrition" table.

In addition, the following organizations will also be represented: Rome Fire Department (Smoke House), The Rome Police’s Mobile Command Center (Safe-Kids ID’s),The Girl Scouts, YWCA, Planned Parenthood, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Game Stop, and more.

Participants can enjoy family health and wellness demonstrations, Zumba, summer safety, give-aways, family activities and healthy snacks.

Rome Y School Age Child Care Director Nicolina Calandra said, "Childhood obesity is one of the biggest battles facing our nation today. Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity for children and families to learn that physical activity and wellness can be fun!"

The Y also offers Healthy Kids Day events in the Oneida and New Hartford locations, also from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those joining the YMCA Saturday or Sunday will and receive the month of May for free.

For more information, call the Rome Family Y at 336-3500 the Oneida Family YMCA at 363-7788, the Rome Family YMCA at 336-3500 or the New Hartford YMCA School Age Child Care Site at 797-4787.

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