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updated: 3/5/2014 3:00 PM

'Healthy Children' expo debuts in Rosemont this weekend

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  • Dr. Jennifer Shu is one of the presenters at this weekend's Healthy Children Conference & Expo in Rosemont.

    Dr. Jennifer Shu is one of the presenters at this weekend's Healthy Children Conference & Expo in Rosemont.
    Photo courtesy of American Academy of Pediatrics


Credible information on children's health can be difficult to find online.

But it will be easy to find this weekend, when the Elk Grove Village-based American Academy of Pediatrics hosts its first Healthy Children Conference & Expo Saturday and Sunday in Rosemont.

The expo -- expected to draw about 6,000 people from across the U.S. -- will feature more than 100 exhibitors plus national experts talking about the latest developments in children's health on a wide range of topics, from breast-feeding to online bullying.

Children are welcome (and admitted free), and can enjoy acrobatic performances, story telling, music, cooking demonstrations, an indoor play zone, and water safety lessons from Twiggy the water skiing squirrel.

"We wanted to provide parents a chance to learn in a very fun environment," said pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu, medical editor of the AAP website for parents,, one of the expo's presenters. "It's kind of like an extension of information they might get from their own pediatrician."

Among some of the offerings are:

• KIDS (Kids and Families Impacting Disease through Science), an advisory group of young people experiencing serious medical issues who, on Saturday, will share their insights into the drug development process and how research and innovation affects young patients;

• Heidi Murkoff, author of the best-selling book, "What To Expect When You're Expecting," will be part of a Q&A session moderated by AAP President Dr. James M. Perrin on Sunday;

• Interactive sessions on everyday life issues, including childhood obesity, social media and technology, bullying and violence;

• A Link Up Lounge, where people can connect with some of Chicago's leading mom bloggers;

• Presentations on asthma, nutrition, fitness, oral health, safety, work-life balance for parents, autism, sleep issues, and more.

"This is a rare and unusual opportunity for parents and kids to interact with some of the nation's leading experts, all gathered under one roof, for less than the cost of a typical doctor's office co-pay," Shu said.

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