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Health department creates waiting room area for children
Lila Harmon  Tammy Dixon
Effingham County Health Department customer service representative Tammy Dixon holds Lila Harmon. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham County Health Department employees recently opened an area in the health department waiting room that is specifically designed for children.

“The Farmers Market” is geared toward promoting healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables while at the same time giving children a place to play until it’s time for their appointment.

The area is stocked with a small vegetable stand along with plastic fruit and vegetables donated by Amerigroup. Both Amerigroup and Wellcare provided healthy snacks for the grand opening. Health department employees designed and painted colorful wall murals depicting garden and farming scenes.

The idea came about after some health department employees attended a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) conference in Atlanta which focused on the importance of nutrition and young children. WIC provides vouchers for healthy foods along with nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.

“We put our heads together and came up with the idea to create a special section of our waiting room that we hope will spark an interest in good nutrition not only for the children who play there but also for their parents,” said Effingham County Health Department nurse manager Cindy Grovenstein, R.N. “Eating healthy is so important for our little ones. Exposing them to fruits, vegetables, and other nutritional foods at an early age will go a long way toward laying the groundwork for a healthy adulthood.”

The Effingham County Health Department now has a designated area just for children in the health department waiting room.