By NICOLE GERRINGMARINE CITY– Children had their faces painted, ate free pizza and cookies and tried their skills on a rock climbing wall at Belle River Elementary School on Saturday afternoon.
But their parents didn’t bring them to the school just to have fun – they had their children fingerprinted and checked out for cavities and spinal problems as part of Kids Day America.
The event, initiated by the World Wellness Foundation, has been taking place for more than a decade in cities around the world and arrived in Marine City for the first time this year. Zimmer Chiropractic of Marine City and other local agencies and businesses pitched in to educate families about health and safety issues.
Children were given an emergency child identification card with a dental record form; space for a photo; questions such as address, height, weight and blood type; and boxes for each fingerprint.
Lt. Tim Donnellon of the St. Clair County Sheriff Department, which conducted the fingerprinting with Marine City Mayor George Bukowski, said the fingerprints and the ID books are useful in an emergency situation.
“It’s for (the families) education and prevention and it will aid us,” he said, if a child is lost or kidnapped.
Charlotte Schwartz brought her 5-year-old twins, Lynn and Wilfred Schwartz, to the event because she heard about the fingerprinting session through their school.
“We thought it would be a good idea to get at least the fingerprints done and on file,” she said. She said she also liked having her children be seen by a dentist and chiropractor without having to make and pay for medical appointments.
Randy Allor of Marine City said he brought his son, Ryan Allor, 9, and his friends and cousin to the event for the fingerprinting and to spend time as a family.
“It gives us time to share,” he said.
When they had completed the check-ups and ID books, families were fed pizza, hot dogs and cookies and had a chance to play in an inflatable obstacle course and house and climb a synthetic rock wall.
All events were free, but donations were collected for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally and severely ill children.