Healthy Baby Fair gets bigger and better for 2007
By Kathleen Folkerth
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The 2007 Healthy Baby Fair promises to be so big, it might set a world’s record.
Actually, the record that organizers are attempting to set is for the largest gathering of pregnant women. The Guinness Book of World Records has even been contacted.
“We had to register with them in London, England,” said Jane Trinter, community coordinator for the Akron Health Department, which is organizing the event along with partners Akron General Medical Center and the Kiwanis Clubs of Summit, Medina and Portage counties. Babies “R” Us is the sponsor.
Because there is no current record for a gathering of pregnant women, the local event will need to have at least 100 to set the standard, Trinter said the Guinness officials told organizers. The record will likely be set during what is being billed as the “Biggest Baby Shower Ever,” which will take place Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill St.
The first 500 expectant mothers will receive a free tote bag. The shower also will feature games and a maternity fashion show.
The shower is just one of the events that is part of the expo, which will take place at the Knight Center from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 22 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23. Admission is free, as is parking in the downtown decks.
This is the fifth year for the event but the first it has been expanded to fill two days.
The expo will feature activities, such as a Diaper Derby, and booths with exhibitors presenting information and services available to parents in the area.
“There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a kinship care provider, an older parent needing an update, a parent who is new to the area or a first-time parent,” Trinter said.
Another highlight of both days is a session with Teri Crane, author of “Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day.” Her “Potty Training Boot Camp” will take place Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Crane, an Avon Lake resident, also will sign copies of her book, which will be for sale at the event.
“There’s usually standing-room-only when she appears,” Trinter said.
Seating is limited for Crane’s events, and those attending must reserve a spot through any local Babies “R” Us store. Locally, stores are in North Canton and Aurora.
Trinter said this year’s expo also will feature a vendor’s area, where attendees can shop for maternity clothes and unique products for pregnancy and baby care. Children’s books, scrap-booking supplies and baby- safe cleaning products are among the items to be for sale.
Parents also will be able to take advantage of free health screenings for their children. Local agencies will screen hearing, vision and development and provide local resources for children who show they need services. Lead tests, which involve getting a finger-stick blood sample, also will be given, with results available later.
A session on baby sign language also will take place in addition to a demonstration of baby massage. A make-and-take crafts area will be set up, and Cookie Monster will be on hand for photos with children.
Attendees can expect to get lots of freebies at the expo in the form of health handouts and samples. Refreshments will be available for purchase at the Knight Center.
Trinter said organizers are hoping to see about 2,000 people come through the doors of the expo each day. The weekend is being promoted throughout Northeast Ohio, so Trinter expects to see people coming from all over the area, not just Akron.
She said the weekend of events is planned to be fun but also serve as a way to help families get a healthy start.
“Our theme is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure,” Trinter said.
For more information about the 2007 Healthy Baby Fair, call (330) 375-2077 or go to www.ci.akron.oh.us/Health04/Promotion/index/.
The expo will feature activities, such as a Diaper Derby, shown below, and booths with exhibitors, shown above, presenting information and services available to parents in the area.
Photos courtesy of PBS
45 & 49 (WNEO/WEAO)