Children's Day promotes resources
HUNTINGTON -- A sunny Sunday afternoon at the park with her kids is always a great day, said Ashley Zipperian of Huntington. Throw in some fun freebies -- sunglasses, books and an onslought of family resources in the Tri-State -- it makes the day even better, she said.
Zipperian's was among the families that stopped at the fountain area of Ritter Park Sunday afternoon during the free annual Celebrate Children's Day event, hosted by United Way of the River Cities' Success By 6 initiative.
Success by 6 is a school readiness awareness coalition to help families provide the best developmental foundation for their children in their early years.
"We're having this to bring awareness to the 12 tips of raising a healthy child," said Lena Burdette, Success by 6 coordinator for United Way.
Activities, door prizes and a slew of information on car seat safety, financial tips for families, immunizations and other factors related to health and wellness were handed out.
"Fun activities for kids learning the basics and resources for families -- it's a great way to promote, learning, fitness and health," said Laura Gilliam, executive director of United Way of the River Cities.
It's a great event, Zipperian said.
"I love bringing the kids to the park anyway," she said. "Anytime it includes free healthy snacks and books -- that's a bonus," she said.
The event was put on with sponsorship from The Herald-Dispatch, KEE and Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Raising a healthy child
According to Success by 6, here are 12 tips for raising a healthy child:
1. The first years last forever. Wiring a brain is like wiring a house -- it works better if you start from the beginning.
2. Love and affection cannot spoil a baby. Be warm, loving and pay attention to your child's sounds, movements and expressions.
3. Talk, read and sing to your child. You are your child's first teacher.
4. Have a regular schedule. Children find comfort in the same routine every day.
5. Play is the work of the young child. Encourage safe exploration and play.
6. Pay attention to your child. Be aware of how, where and with whom your child spends his time. Choose TV, radio and internet carefully.
7. Take care of yourself. You cannot take care of your child if your basic needs are not also being met.
8. Discipline to teach, not punish. Use discipline as an opportunity to teach appropriate behavior. Never hit or shake a child.
9. Choose quality child care and stay involved. For local information on approved child care sites, call LINK at 800-894-9540.
10. Children develop at different rates. Celebrate each child.
11. Give your child a childhood. Children need unstructured time. More is not always better.
12. Children need to know they matter. Show your children they are loved for who they are.
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