West Virginia University Childrens Hospital will hold its 11th annual Kids Fair on Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morgantown Mall. This years theme isJump Start Your Heart.

The fair will feature 42 exhibitors, and many will be educating kids about the importance of making heart-healthy food choices and keeping active. Theyll also focus on the dangers of tobacco use.

The groups involved in this years Kids Fair really got creative in planning their activities around the theme,said Stephanie Bock, director of community relations at WVU Hospitals.We have a lot of jumping activitieseverything from jump roping to hopscotch to a bounce house.

The real goal of this event, no matter what the theme, however, is to promote healthy living to area kids,she said.

The 2009 Kids Fair will feature a scavenger hunt, free health assessments, fun activities, puppet shows, appearances, entertainment, plus a whole lot more.

To encourage kids to visit some of the booths focused on heart health, WVU s CARDIAC Project, a program addressing West Virginias prevalence of heart disease, is holding a scavenger hunt. Kids who visit the assigned booths will get a sticker or stamp on their game card. All fair attendees who complete the scavenger hunt will be eligible to win a $50 Morgantown Mall gift card.

WVU Childrens Hospital will hold a wellness clinic again this year. Kids can participate in blood glucose testing and learn about hand-washing hygiene. Some of the other free health assessments offered at this years fair include blood pressure, body mass index, color blindness, developmental and vision. Kids can even listen to their heart.

Some of the fun activities taking place at this years fair include a kiddie carnival, arts and crafts, prize wheels, ambulance tours, Dance Dance Revolution and obstacle courses.

Kids can learn about poison prevention by attending a puppet show presented by the WVU School of Pharmacy. Seven shows will be performedone every hour starting at 10:30 a.m.

Kids are encouraged to bring bicycle helmets and newspapers to the fair. WVU HospitalsJon Michael Moore Trauma Center will be collecting bike helmets. The first 350 kids to drop off a gently-used helmet will receive a new one for free. The Dominion Post will be collecting newspapers for recycling. The classroom that brings in the most newspapers will receive a pizza party and a visit from Mr. Newspaper.

Parents can get their children fingerprinted at the WVU Urgent Care booth. They can have their car seat inspected by the Monongalia County Sheriffs Department and register for the upcoming American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Many special appearances will be made at the fair. Look for the Easter Bunny, the WVU Mountaineer and two fuzzy characters that people of all ages will enjoy. Some very special dogs will also visit the fair: the Mountaineer Kennel Club Therapy Dogs and the Hearts of Gold Service Dogs.

WVAQ will broadcast live from the fair and hold a Guitar Hero competition. Other entertainment will include performances by Josh Knotts, illusionist/magician, and an exercise class with Troo the Traumaroo.

There also will be performances by a competitive jump-rope team from the Mid-Ohio ValleyJump Co. U.S.A. Following each performance, weather permitting, the group will conduct a jump-rope clinic.

For more information on the Kids Fair, visit www.wvukids.com . A special Kids Fair tab will be published in The Dominion Post on Tuesday, March 31.