The main lobby entrance of the Edinburg Children’s Hospital was filled this past Saturday with parents and children. For the children, the lobby was a place to get free treats and prizes. For parents, it was an important and educational event.
The Back to School Family Health Fair took place at the Edinburg Children’s Hospital over the weekend and featured more than 37 exhibits that provided visitors with health information, Kids flu vaccines, educational materials and screenings.
Linda Resendez, CEO of Edinburg Children’s Hospital, said with the potential pandemic that is being expected in the fall (Influenza A), the health fair is a way to help prevent the children of the Valley from getting Influenza A or H1N1.
Resendez said children were given needle-free flu vaccines or a flu mist that is given through nose as opposed to an injection. “This is not an injection, which is the beauty of it,” said Resendez. “It is just a simple mist up their nose.”
Other general immunizations were also given free of charge, as well as education on hand washing, the use of proper sneezing and coughing techniques. “Our goal is to keep our children healthy so that they can attend school and be healthy kids,” Resendez said.
Kohl’s Department Stores presented the Edinburg Children’s Hospital Foundation with a $53,685 grant for the needle-free flu vaccines used during the health fair. The grant given will also be used to help educate families about the severity of the flu and the important of yearly flu vaccinations and protection against flu.
Lechar Garcia, Kohl’s McAllen store manager said with Kohl’s Cares for Kids, they support children and educational initiatives nationwide. Since 2008, Kohl’s has raised more than $126 million dollars through the merchandise program they have in stores. The program includes a merchandise program that features books and toys are $5 each. Garcia said all profits go towards supporting local area hospitals.
“We hope to improve the health of children and play an active role in the community throughout the area,” she said.
Brenda Garza, Edinburg Children’s Hospital Foundation president, said the Edinburg Children’s Hospital Foundation is committed to helping improve the quality of life for the children of our community. “This flu prevention program sponsored by Kohl’s will provide our children with the knowledge they need to make healthy decisions now and in the years to come.”