Youngsters Learn Important Safety Tips from PCP Students
For the third consecutive year, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) volunteered at the Pediatric Asthma and Health Fair, hosted by Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper University Hospital on May 22. More than 90 first- and second-grade students from Veteran’s Memorial Family Elementary School in Camden attended the fair to interactively learn health lessons from pharmacy students and medical providers.
“It was a joy to see that the children were already so knowledgeable about health and wellness at such a young age,” said Priya Panchal, PharmD’16, president of PPAG. “Pharmacy students gained insight on how to successfully communicate healthy ideas to children.”
Panchal was joined by several other PPAG members, including Rachael Oyewole PharmD’16; Michael Kee PharmD’16; Minju Lee PharmD’17; Amanda Yu PharmD’16; Aditi Bhogal PharmD’17; Fatima Ali PharmD’18; and Isabel Papraniku PharmD’18. These students had the opportunity to collaborate with the hospital’s departments of pediatrics, pediatric critical care medicine, child life, pharmacy, and dietary services – as well as local nonprofit organizations – to educate the children on asthma, healthy nutrition, smoking cessation, fitness, and medication safety through fun, interactive games.
In an effort to fascinate young minds, the pharmacy students presented a poster, “Is It Candy?” to highlight medication safety tips. Dr. Laura L. Bio, pharmacy professor and advisor of PPAG; and Dr. Colleen Smith, pediatric/neonatal clinical pharmacy specialist at Cooper, also spoke to the youngsters during the presentation.
“We discussed what medicine is, as well as the importance of never sharing medicine or taking medicine without the presence of a parent or guardian,” said Panchal.
She said the children also played a game that had them guessing whether or not they were pointing to a pill or a piece of candy. This exercise emphasized the importance of seeking permission from a parent or guardian before eating an item that resembles candy, since medicine and candy often look similar.
At the conclusion of the health fair, children played a game where they chose scenarios about safe medication use, or what to do when feeling sick. Each scenario was accompanied by a question about whether or not the child in the scenario handled the situation correctly.