More than 500 youth from Hannibal and the surrounding area learned the dangers of using illegal drugs and of smoking Saturday, Feb. 7, at the annual Teen Health Fair sponsored by the Community Health Assistance Resource Team (CHART) Teen Task Force.

More than 500 youth from Hannibal and the surrounding area learned the dangers of using illegal drugs and of smoking Saturday, Feb. 7, at the annual Teen Health Fair sponsored by the Community Health Assistance Resource Team (CHART) Teen Task Force.

Mason Ward, a Hannibal seventh grader, said he learned, “Meth is not the only thing that kills people. Tobacco is the number one thing that kills people in the world.”

Hannibal third grader Ella Eppard learned, “if you take drugs, it affects your brain, and you can’t move your hands the way you are supposed to.”

Shang Williams, a Hannibal sixth grader, had tried the glasses that cause the problems of drinking alcohol. “I felt like lying down and going to sleep,” he said. Also, “It made me want to puke.”

Madison Spires, a Hannibal third grader, learned smoking causes diseases. Seventh grader Rebecca Spires said she, “learned what it would be to have a concussion and try to walk.” These girls wore flower-decorated rings from the Griffen’s Flowers booth.

The Heimlich Maneuver to save a person choking on food was demonstrated by Air Evac Lifeteam Program Director Travis Richards and Brandon Buckman. They said the student were paying attention and learning it really well.

They added that the Heimlich Maneuver is a valuable skill for older siblings, who may at times care for their younger brothers and sisters.

Canton sixth grader Brieanna Avery learned to do the Heimlich Maneuver on the Air Evac dummy.

Chris Dolbeare and Christy Pryor, EMTs with the Marion County Ambulance District, were doing double duty at the health fair. In addition to explaining the equipment in the ambulance they brought, they were treating a boy who became ill. The ambulance doors were closed for privacy, until his parents arrived to take him home. “He is fine,” Dolbeare reported later in the afternoon.

He added that he was pleased to have so many emergency personnel at the teen fair, “since we all work together. There are doctors, nurses, firefighters and law enforcement.”

The two EMTs also were demonstrating CPR. Bowling Green fifth grader Adam Engel was practicing this, under their instruction.

The EMTs also encouraged the teens to take home a “personal medical information” sheet, which lists a name, birthdate, allergies, current medication, past medical history and emergency contact. This sheet is often posted on a refrigerator by senior adults and is valuable when the EMTs arrive to treat someone who is physically unable to provide these details. It also is a good idea for families who may have children in the care of someone other than a parent.

As they entered the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center, each teen had received a card to be punched at each booth. When it had 25 punches, the card was turned in for door prizes, which were awarded throughout the health fair.

Another event was a scavenger hunt. Each teen who found the answer could enter a drawing for a $100 cash prize at the end of the health fair. Brad Tutor of New London won it, according to Dr. Sandra Ahlum, chairperson of the Teen Task Force.

Ahlum reported some of the more than 500 youth attending had arrived on school buses from Louisiana, Canton and Philadelphia, Mo.

From Louisiana, Kiara Chatman said she learned she should buckle her seat belt, and Abbie Burce said she learned to not walk close to a helicopter (with the rotors turning).

Two of the most popular booths offered hair styling. Ashley Peyton of Great Clips was giving Canton seventh grader Rachel Thompson a bun. Rachel said she had learned she should “start wearing my seat belt.”

Tammy Turner of the Gallery Salon was busy giving Terri Christal an updo. Terri, a fifth grader at Oakwood Elementary School, said she was going to change her haircut. She had learned a lot at the health fair, including how to do that hairdo. She also learned how power generators work.

Both girls and boys were having their hair styled, and the Mohawk style was perhaps the most common for the boys, including Daylan Hurshman of Louisiana.

Dr. Ahlum noted that one of the new booths this year was from the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy, where seventh grader Victoria Butler of Hannibal was discussing a possible pharmaceutical career with third year student Alicyn Wyatt.

The UMKC reps also were explaining the school’s Missouri Extension AgriAbility program. This offers on-site farmstead medication assessments and evaluations. The phone number is (800) 995-8503 and details are on agrability.missouri.edu.

See “Seen on Scene” photo gallery for more pictures.