NUKOLI‘I — Hundreds of keiki and their families took advantage of the free Kids Summer Fest at Kaua‘i Beach Resort Saturday morning.
“We hope that the Kids Summer Fest helps to create more awareness about making healthy life choices and preventing keiki injury during their play time this summer,” said Dr. Brigitte Carreau, the event co-chair with Dr. Derek Johnson.
Carreau assumed the role of “Doc,” leading Tucker the therapy dog from the Kapi‘olani Children’s Hospital and a group of youngsters on a “Walk with the Doc” around the Kaua‘i Beach Resort property, the walkers receiving a pedometer and their morning’s share of exercise for the effort.
“This is the first time I’ve come to this event, and it’s terrific,” Lillian Durante said as she watched her grandchildren scamper and wriggle through the many informational and interactive stations.
The Kids Summer Fest promotes a healthy, active lifestyle for Kaua‘i’s keiki, focusing on exercise, nutrition, safety and prevention of injuries, states a release from Wilcox Health.
One of the features of the fest was the availability of free sports physical examinations for youngsters 5 through 18 years old, the line quickly filling up and lining the corridor of the resort.
Participants, in addition to the plethora of prizes and giveaways offered by the different stations, could indulge in a healthy box snack, one youngster’s eyes widening as she extracted a cookie bigger than her hand.
Participating activity stations included the beach and boating safety booth; Kaua‘i Family Magazine’s colorful summertime fun; Hoot It Up with information for parents of infants, children, preteens and teens on the importance of exercise; the Keiki ID program, where the line appeared never-ending; Keep Your Keiki Safe, hosted by the Kapi‘olani Medical Center, and Wilcox Hospital Trauma Program Services where youngsters could be fitted for bicycle helmets, infant seats and car boosters.
People Attentive to Children offered resources for quality keiki care and pattern-matching fun for keiki, and Hawai‘i Life Flight had instruction on the different organs in a human body.
People manning the Wilcox Hospital Rehab Services booth were kept busy with youngsters doing the single leg hop, triple hops, double long jump and the balance test.
“We’re recruiting,” said Aaron Uyeda of the county’s Parks and Recreation Dept., who got help from the Kaua‘i High School track team in their Recreation for Life beanbag toss.
Richard Matsumoto, coach of the Kaua‘i High track team, said a lot of the seniors and juniors were participating in SAT testing, so he had just three students helping.
Kaua‘i 4-H Youth Development and the Kaua‘i Medical Clinic Health Management Department both had different activities centering on why water is best for the body.
Keiki sprawled over the carpeted floor of the Kaua‘i Beach Resort ballroom working on bookmarks with anti-bullying messages from the Aloha Peace Project’s Peace Puppets in the Secrets of Keeping Bullies Away station.
Also available for the keiki inspection were the Kaua‘i Police Department Incident Command Mobile Unit, American Medical Response ambulances and a Kaua‘i Fire Department fire truck.
“We are thrilled to be able to share valuable health information with the community in this fun-filled event,” Dr. Carreau said.
Wilcox Health is comprised of Kaua‘i Medical Clinic and G.N. Wilcox Memorial Hospital and is an affiliate of Hawai‘i Pacific Health, the state’s largest health care provider.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.