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Free clinic in Saanich aims to boost health habits with youth
There’s a saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of avoiding the hospital emergency ward. Or something along those lines.
The Royal Oak Chiropractic Natural Health Clinic is offering a free series of heath checkups for youth on Saturday, all in the name of encouraging parents to engage their kids in preventative health habits from an early age.
Two chiropractors, an optometrist, a dentist, a naturopath and a massage therapist will be on hand at the clinic to give kids relatively quick exams for their eyes, spine, posture, teeth and general health. It’s the second annual Children’s Health Day offered by the clinic.
“Last year we found several problems ... things that in the long-term could be serious if not detected,” said Dr. Stan Marcus, one of three chiropractors at the clinic, along with doctors Natasha Kipot and Jeff Gratton. “This is about being preventative and finding things early.”
Last year about 35 kids from eight months to 14 years old went through the free health day. Marcus has designs on eventually expanding the event to a full-blown children’s health fair.
“It’s a good problem if we get too busy and then move it to a bigger venue,” he said. “The long-term goal is to have a children’s health fair at Pearkes (arena). We’d like to lead to that eventually.”
Marcus was inspired to have a children’s heath day from similar events by chiropractic associations in the U.S., and a clinic he hosted years ago in Saanichton. Parents need reminding that kids need regular physicals and health checkups, he said.
“Most people don’t get checked out (regularly). They wait until there is a problem. Here kids can hang out, see a variety of professionals,” Marcus said. “What we try to do with kids in short sessions is have them learn to be comfortable with health professionals too.”
More specific to Marcus’ field of spine health, he said spine problems can crop up from an early age, and certainly as kids get older and play sports, which can impact the nervous system and organ health.
Marcus said his own experience with back problems after playing rugby as a teen eventually led him into the profession.
“Contact sports wreak havoc on spines. It’s not just about back pain ... it’s about getting the body working better. We tell parents to bring their kids in early, not to wait until they’re a mess,” he said.
“One year olds fall on their butt. Kids trip and fall, they’re in sports, they’re high energy. It’s life. Their spines need to be checked.”
Children’s Health Day involves health professionals from Royal Oak Chiropractic Natural Health Clinic, Royal Oak Dental, Mayfair Optometric Clinic and Vancouver Island Naturopathic Clinic. Child Find B.C. will also be on hand.
The free clinic is May 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., no appointment necessary, 207-4480 West Saanich Rd., in the Royal Oak Shopping Centre. See royaloakchiro.com.