CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Thomas Memorial Hospital will have its 21st annual Kidoodle Kids' Day this weekend, and hundreds of children will have access to health screenings as well as fun activities.
The event is free to children and their families and will run from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the South Charleston Community Center.
"We are happy to provide this day for the children of our community and to help them learn about forming healthy and safe habits for a lifetime," said Paige Johnson, director of marketing and public relations for Thomas Health System.
Parents can bring their children for free dental, hearing, vision, blood pressure and glucose screenings and obtain information on activities within the community.
The event will feature a jump rope competition, Jupiter Jump, DJ, clown, free food, drinks and more. Educational materials and Thomas Memorial Hospital staff will be on hand to answer questions and to help give away 400 bicycle helmets to the children in attendance.
The annual event has seen as many as 750 kids in the past; Johnson anticipates about 600 children will show up this year.
"Kids must understand about healthy living and know that their healthy life starts now. We encourage kids of all ages to be screened and come have fun," Johnson said. "Bike helmets, bicycles, fruit, hot dogs will all be here this year for the kids."
The event began in 1993 to celebrate Children and Hospitals Week. It started in a conference room that it quickly outgrew, said Sandy Young, the director of Pediatrics/Oncology/Medical-Surgical at Thomas. She has been involved with the event for more than 20 years.
In 1997 the hospital began partnering with local insurance companies to give away bicycle helmets. Since then the hospital has given away more than 8,000 helmets.