The Duncan Banner

January 17, 2013

Gabriel’s House students learn about staying healthy

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Nine Emerson students enrolled in the Gabriel’s House program learned the secret to being healthy: Avoid germs.

Patty Wininger, a Duncan Regional Hospital nurse, talked with the students about reducing their chances of getting sick by washing their hands often, taking baths and showers regularly, and remembering good oral hygiene. To demonstrate her point, Wininger had toys of germs and a chicken, which appeared to be under the weather. The chicken was named “Sick Chicken.”

“If you have germs, you can be Sick Chicken,” Wininger said.

The program revolved around cleanliness and hygiene as ways to avoid germs. This included a demonstration on the proper way to wash hands.

This is the third year Wininger has led the program for Gabriel’s House. This year, she stopped by the Emerson Gabriel’s House on Tuesday and the Mark Twain Gabriel’s House on Wednesday. She is slated to visit the Woodrow Wilson Gabriel’s House next week.

“That was a smart bunch of kids,” Wininger said following her visit to the Emerson house.

While some of the students have seen the program before  (having been enrolled in Gabriel’s House in previous years), Wininger said the program is a good refresher for them. She said the program is designed to teach students how to stay healthy.

And the timing of the program was not coincidental. Actually, it was quite the opposite.

Wininger said she waits until flu season to talk to students because it makes the information even more pertinent.

“I try to do it around the height of flu season,” she said.

Aside from learning about the importance of hygiene and ways germs can be spread, the students were given goodie bags to help instill healthy lifestyles. The bags contained hand sanitizes, soap, packages of tissues and bandages.