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Safety and health headline family event

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Nikoliaous Vegara, 1 year old, of Albuquerque gets fitted for a car seat at the Child Safety Seat Clinic sponsored by the Safer New Mexico Now organization, which occurred as part of Saturday's Chaves County Health Fair. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

About 600 people were expected at a health clinic and a Roswell park Saturday to receive free immunizations or sports physicals, to enjoy goodies and treats, or to have their car seats checked for safety.

More than 20 vendors provided health information or entertained families at the Chaves County Health Fair Saturday at the Daniel E. Carpenter Park on Southeast Main Street. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The New Mexico Department of Health organized the Chaves County Health Fair, held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Daniel E. Carpenter Park on Southeast Main Street to provide families with free services as well as information and family fun.
State and local government offices, local medical and insurance businesses, the Roswell Police and Fire departments, a church and nonprofits were also talking with attendees about health or aging-related matters and handing out food, treats, backpacks filled with school supplies and other goodies. Families also could enjoy music, a jump house and an obstacle course. Immunizations and physicals occurred at a Department of Health clinic near the park.
“We are expecting 600 to 700 people,” said Joann Palomino of the Department of Health. “That’s what we had last year.”

More than 20 vendors popped up tents, while, across the street, the Safer New Mexico Now organization and its volunteers from Artesia, Roswell and Portales were conducting free inspections of and providing safety advice regarding child car seats. For a donation of $20 if families had that much to spare, new car seats were given out to replace unsafe ones. The Safer New Mexico Now provided new seats without the donation if families felt that they did not have money to give.
“We prefer if the parent, child and car seat are all here at the same time, so we can see if the child still fits and check about the seat’s safety,” said Leroy Coronado, a former police officer and a Safer New Mexico Now senior technician.
He said he has been working with the organization since 2012. The group holds clinics each month to inspect car seats and to provide information to parents about the proper way to buckle children in, as well as other safety lessons. Future clinics in the area are listed on the organization website, safernm.org.