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Free Physicals for Kids at Westhaven Community Day

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

August 3, 2013

Charlottesville's Westhaven community gathered together on Saturday for its annual community day. And along with the good food and music, dozens of kids had an opportunity to get a free check up.

Volunteers from the University of Virginia Children's Hospital were on hand to give children free sports physicals.

Monique Scott, an incoming fifth grader, was one of the children who got a physical. She's debating which sport to play.

"Probably track or basketball," Monique said. "I tried a long jump before. I didn't get too far, but it was still fun."

"We do their blood pressures and their height and weight," explained Karen Moss, a registered nurse who is working on her medical degree at U.Va.

"Some persons may not be able to get this done in a regular setting," Moss said. "But to be able to offer this service, free of charge, I think is very important."

Monique seemed to enjoy the physical almost as much as playing outside at the block party.

"It was fun," Monique said. "All the different types of walks you got to do."

Amy Brown, the director of the U.Va. Pediatric Home Visit Program, says the children were getting the physicals for lots of different reasons.

"Cheerleading, football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey," Brown said. But, much more important to Brown, is giving the kids the opportunity to stay active.

"There's a huge need for that everywhere," she said. "With decreasing levels of physical activity and the need for education about nutrition."

The volunteers are giving the kids some of that education, in addition to the physical.

Moss explained some of the questions they asked the kids:

"What does a healthy plate look like?" Moss said. "And what does your plate look like? And do you exercise?"

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