April 21, 2014  

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Students Promote Safe, Healthy Homes during Public Health Week

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Candace Rainey, left, and Latorian Smith, center, learn how to properly maintain and use a fire extinguisher from community health science student, Gayla Evans. The demonstration was part of a health fair hosted by a group of community health science students at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. (Southern Miss University Communications photo by Charmaine Schmermund)

Community health science students at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast reached out to the university community by hosting the health fair, “Are Your Loved Ones in the Zone?,” during National Public Health Week April 1-7.

The project, conducted for the health education methods course, featured exhibits and hands-on training for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and healthy eating habits. To promote healthier eating, group members provided health fair attendees with healthy snacks and refreshments, such as grapes, carrot sticks and low-calorie beverages. Attendees who completed exhibit demonstrations received a free t-shirt.

“It’s important to choose the right foods each day to ensure that you are receiving the proper calories by eating a healthy and balanced meal and your plate is colorful and nutritious,” said senior Gayla Evans of Gulfport.

Throughout the two hour health fair, more than 50 Southern Miss Gulf Coast students, faculty and staff members took part in learning more about ensuring a safe and healthy home for their families.

“Although there are many areas involving health and safety which we could focus, we felt that nutrition, fire extinguishers and smoke alarms were most important for spreading the word,” added Evans. “There is a large need in our community for individuals to adequately protect their family from harm and we want to equip our fellow students, as well as faculty and staff, with that knowledge.”