‘Tired students’ spark health fair
LETHARGY AND SHORTNESS of breath observed in some students at the Ellerslie Secondary School led to the school’s inaugural health fair.
On Thursday the Black Rock, St Michael school’s guidance counsellor Deidre Went, who led the effort, said, “When I looked at a lot of our young people and from observing the children at school, the way they are walking, it is like they were not able.
“Going up the stairs I pass them and I am much older. They are huffing and puffing and have to stop a couple of times to catch their breath before they can get to the classroom because they are so tired.”
Concern was also raised about poor eating habits and a growing number of students who appeared to be overweight.
Went said that the increasing consumption of junk food by students resulted in a number of health challenges. In addition, high amounts of sugar and food dye were also impacting on the health of many youngsters who find it difficult to sit still for five minutes. Went admitted that it was almost impossible to stop students from eating junk food, but they still needed to be educated about healthy lifestyles and a balanced diet.
The guidance counsellor said a lot of emphasis was placed on teaching young people about HIV/AIDS, but she said other issues facing young people such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension also needed to be addressed.
The teacher said she also wanted to stage workshops for parents about healthy lifestyles, because teachers could only do so much and parents needed to be armed with information as well.
The theme for yesterday’s exercise was Healthy = Wealthy. Your Life, Your Health, Make it Right. The activities included yoga, soca aerobics, line dancing and physical education interactive games. There were also lectures and information sessions on substance abuse, as well dental and mental health sessions.
The Mobile Breast Health Clinic of the Breast Screening Programme of the Barbados Cancer Society offered breast exams for teachers and parents, while the Diabetes Association of Barbados offered blood sugar and pressure checks. (LK)