Kids' advocates push for no screens
Going "screen free" with children is the theme of the 10th annual Tri-Cities' Healthy Kids Fair in Coquitlam this week.
Children's advocates are encouraging parents and caregivers to spend more time face-to-face with young ones and get outdoors rather than be hunkered down in front of a television, computer or smart phone.
"It's important to have that human connection every day," said Susan Foster of the ministry of Children and Family Development, who is helping to organize the fair that last year saw more than 600 participants.
Her group will offer bug kits and butterfly nets to attendees and those who fill out an evaluation will also get small kids' books.
Geared to parents with newborns to six year olds, the fair will have 35 exhibitors giving tips on staying safe and healthy. "The main focus is around early screening," Foster said, noting speech delay is a common complaint.
As well, professionals will be on hand to talk about programs and services for parents such as Strong Start, counselling and recreational outings. The city of Coquitlam will have a demonstration of its mom and baby yoga classes and will showcase its Imagination Playground. As well, a representative from BCAA will guide parents through the often-complex steps on how to install a car seat.
Best of all, kids can hop into an RCMP police cruiser and meet the Share Bear.
Sponsored by the Tri-Cities ECD Community Development committee, the fair includes translation services for families whose first languages are Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Farsi. Snacks will be provided by the SD43 culinary arts program at Gleneagle secondary school.
Admission is free and donations of non-perishable items are being accepted for the Share food bank. There will be no presenters selling goods or services.
• The Tri-Cities' Healthy Kids Fair will be held on Thursday, April 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Pinetree community centre (1260 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam). Call 604-927-6960 or visit tricitiesecd.ca.