posttrib
FLAWLESS 
Weather Updates

Teach kids about their health at weekend events

storyidforme: 62983144
tmspicid: 833315
fileheaderid: 613581

Updated: May 5, 2014 3:33AM



Children’s health and wellness can be a taxing concern for parents, but it can also be the focus of an enjoyable family outing at these two destinations: the Healthy Children Conference and Expo this weekend in Rosemont, Ill.; and the HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum in downtown South Bend.

Presentations targeted to parents, grandparents, caregivers and youths, plus entertainment for all, are part of the first Healthy Children Conference and Expo hosted by the American Academy of Pediatrics taking place this weekend at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Experts from around the country will offer presentations on a wide range of children’s health topics from newborn care to tips on discussing sex and drugs with your teen and information for grandparents on recommendations in child care that differ from earlier practices.

One of those experts will be Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” the conference keynote speaker. Her book, now in its fourth edition, has been described as “the bible of pregnancy” and is included in USA Today’s list of the 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. She will speak at 1:15 p.m. Sunday in an onstage discussion with a pediatrician.

There are over 40 presentations by doctors, including “the Magic of a Healthy Breakfast,” which describes research of brain scans that indicate a good breakfast relates to good work at school. There are also sessions on child safety, vaccines, tattoos, parents finding a work-life balance, stress in both parents and youth and much more.

In the event’s Learning Zone, programs targeted to young conference attendees will include exercising the body and mind; an interactive musical puppet show about making healthy choices at the grocery store; the Medikidz who transform medical information into graphic comic novels; and a program about what it takes to become a doctor.

A sampling of the conference’s entertainment includes the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team; the South Shore Drill Team; and music by author and musician Jim Gill and the Radio Disney Road Crew.

The registration fee for the Healthy Children Conference and Expo is $8 in advance and $10 at the door for adults; children are free. On-site child care will be available, with pre-registration recommended, as there are a limited number of spaces. For registration links and additional information, including detailed descriptions of the over 60 information sessions, go online to www.healthychildrenexpo.org. The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is at 5555 North River Road in Rosemont, Ill. Garage parking is $13.

The HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum has more than 20 hands-on and brains-on areas presenting information on different body parts and functions, as well as nutrition. The information is presented as interactive, multi-sensory fun, best enjoyed by preschoolers and youths to about age 9.

Exhibits include an approximately 10-foot high by 25-foot long climbing wall that simulates the surface of skin. Computers give visitors information about their own health choices. A simulated dentist office has a larger than life-sized patient, and there is a garden, market and tree house for the youngest visitors.

HealthWorks! Kids Museum is at 111 W. Jefferson St., South Bend. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Central time) Monday through Saturday. Admission is $6 with children under 2 admitted free. Tomorrow and every first Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. is buy-one get-one free admission, and you can bring an item to tie-dye for $1.

Free street parking is available, or a parking garage is adjacent. Several restaurants, including a South Bend Chocolate Café, are within one block of the museum.

This small museum is a popular field trip destination on weekdays. To avoid the crowds and optimize a small group visit they recommend calling (574) 647-5437 in advance for schedule information.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.