nursing students in front of healthy eating displayThird-year nursing students discuss the importance of early childhood healthy habits and lifestyles at the Spring into Health fair held at Frank W. Begley elementary school.

Nursing placement encourages healthy habits during formative years

Students and parents from Frank W. Begley elementary school gathered March 22 to learn from UWindsor nursing students about physical and emotional well-being as part of a “Spring into Health” fair.

The fair is a component of a 12-week placement offered for third-year nursing students and forms an integral part of their curriculum since it teaches the students to understand, interact, and communicate effectively with youth in a community setting.

Begley students engaged in mock exercises, interactive games, and question-and-answer sessions focused on every aspect of health and safety, including the importance of physical activity, youth mental health, healthy eating, home fire safety, outdoor recreational safety precautions including sun and water safety, anti-smoking and anti-vaping, and sensible computer and mobile device screen time usage.

“The placement is significant because it promotes a healthy lifestyle at the elementary school level, something that is critical since it’s part of a child’s formative years,” says Katherine Beaumont, a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Nursing. “In turn, the hope is that good habits are formed which leads to less health-related problems down the road.”

Beaumont says that the initiative dates to 2002. Retired professors Sharon McMahon and Mary Cole, along with school board superintendents including a social worker and a special needs teacher, tabled the idea of pediatric placements within community schools. Students were checked for overall health such as vision, hearing, height, head lice or nits, and at younger ages, basic comprehension of exercise and health.

Today, the placement has evolved and expanded to Dougall Avenue Public School, General Brock Public School, and includes such community partners as:

For more information about the placement program and health fair, contact nursing clinical co-ordinator Andrea Reddam at

—Gam Macasaet

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