Annual health fair slated Saturday at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum

A major part of avoiding health issues is avoiding potential hazards, and a portion of Saturday's Health Fair will be geared toward just that, officials are saying.The event, in its 31st year, will be held from 8 a.m. until noon at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Howard College campus. Admission is free. It is staged each year by Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce.“Nearly 5,000 Americans die in house fires each year,” said a fire department spokesman. “Many of these fire victims are children. Children and adults often do not know how to react when fire breaks out in a home. These grim statistics show the need to increase our fire awareness.”Among the items planned for the health fair is the Big Spring Fire Marshal’s Fire Safety House, which teaches children how to get out of a burning house safely. The 41-foot mobile travel trailer is filled with many special effects and technology to teach these lessons in safe and controlled conditions. Among other tasks, students walk through the trailer's kitchen, living room and bedroom, locating potential fire hazards.“The Fire Safety House is a very effective tool for teaching children kitchen safety, exit drills and proper safety procedures in the event of a fire,” the spokesperson said.A check for car safety seats and a bicycle obstacle course are other activities at the fair which are designed to help prevent accidents involving children.Those those a bit older, KBST Radio will have a driving simulator for people who would like to try texting and driving at the same time. According to KBST, Current statistics show that texting and driving causes 6,000 deaths per year, and 330,000 injuries per year.KBST will be giving away free T-shorts to the first 100 people who pledge not to text and drive.Walker Nutrition will be on hand to teach some cooking healthy from scratch tips while the Senior Circle will focus on good health for older folks. Exercise is always important and the Dance Gallery and the YMCA will both be on the scene to demonstrate some steps for folks of all ages. The health fair will have its usual band of health providers, demonstrations and screening opportunities and the blood mobile will be drawing blood from volunteer donors.Participants are encouraged to bring a bag of dog or cat food with them and donate it to the Humane Society, which will be holding a food drive at the coliseum.In addition, Healthy Woman will be hosting its monthly program in the Howard College Cactus Room at noon, near the coliseum. The presentation will feature Dr. Robert Hayes, orthopedic surgeon. The program is free to the public.For more information on the health fair, call the chamber at 432-263-7641.