Annual community baby shower provides helpful information and items for local moms

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur Community Baby Shower moved to West Virginia Wesleyan College this year to continue its goal of helping local moms-to-be and new moms have healthy and safe babies.

Jodi McQuillan, community coordinator with West Virginia Healthy Start/HAPI Project, said, “The idea is to increase  healthy moms and babies and let them know about the resources that are available to them in the community.

“We collaborate with the nursing students so that we can provide education about having a healthy pregnancy and baby and nutrition. We also invited the fire department to come and talk about fire safety. We are going to learn about car seat safety later. The idea is to help parents learn more about how to best take care of their babies.”

The event included exhibits, presentations, shower games, lunch and the opportunity to win many door prizes.

Lt. Joey Baxa was on hand with several Buckhannon Fire Department members to staff a booth, but the career firefighter also came prepared to share an important message with attendees.

“West Virginia is second in the nation in fire deaths per state,” he said. “There have been many of those who are children. The mission of the Buckhannon Fire Department is to save lives and property with lives being number one.”

Baxa said the fire departments throughout the county had made a push in the last couple of years for smoke detectors in every home. For anyone who does not have a smoke detector, he encouraged them to stop by the BFD. Those who live in the first due area can receive help installing them as well.

However, Baxa said that families need to develop a comprehensive fire safety plan.

He also said that closing bedroom doors at night has been proven to be safer.

“If you are leaving your bedroom doors open while you are sleeping, the carbon monoxide and heat is 46 times more likely to cause a fatality,” he said.

Lori Ulderich Harvey, director of the Upshur County Family Resource Network, said the baby shower is the result of several organizations coming together.

The primary sponsors are the Upshur FRN through the Partners in Prevention Grant from Team West Virginia, the HAPI Project and the Pallottine Foundation of Upshur County.

“The Partners in Prevention grant has funded it for years,” she said. “But this year we were able to secure funding from the Pallottine Foundation. Those two grants were the majority of our funds but every agency that was here brought a door prize or helped in some way.

The West Virginia Wesleyan College student nurses provided support from extra childcare during the baby shower to presentations.

“The student nurses get clinical hours to actually put their presentations together,” Ulderich Harvey said. “It helps us to have speakers who have knowledge about different safety and health issues, but it also helps the student nurses learn about the topic and gain experience speaking in front of groups.

“The first 25 registered received a diaper bag full of necessary items,” she said. “It’s got everything from diapers to wipes to books, safety items and more.”

“This year we added a large door prize,” she said pointing to a wireless baby monitor.

“We also are glad they go home with all the information so they know what agencies are available to them and what they can do to help,” she said.

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