Healthy Children Conference and Expo

Written by: Christa Reed

The American Academy of Pediatrics is hosting its first-ever Healthy Children Conference + Expo March 8 and 9, featuring experts from around the country discussing the latest developments in children’s health on topics ranging from breastfeeding to bullying. Parents, grandparents, caregivers and kids are invited to attend the event, which will combine entertainment and education relating to kids from infants to teens.

All presentations and activities are covered under an entrance fee of $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. Kids 18 and under attend free.

The event is divided into four tracks that feature exhibitors, conference sessions, cooking demonstrations and workshops on important developmental topics:

  • Healthy Living – Nutrition, fitness, oral health and emotional wellness.
  • Safety & Prevention – Keeping children safe at home, on the road and at play, immunizations, and all safety-related issues.
  • Family Life – Work-life balance and parenting advice.
  • Health Issues – Common health conditions, such as allergies, learning disabilities, acne.

Among the featured presentations:

  • Heidi Murkoff, author of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, will engage in a in a lively, informative Q&A session moderated by AAP President James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, on Sunday, March 9
  • Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, author of Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health and Work-Life Balance will share her experience as a mother and physician, and provide simple answers to the “how,” “what,” “why,” and “who” questions of parenting.
  • Dr. Joseph Wright, a nationally respected expert in youth violence prevention, will discuss the partnership between families and pediatricians in addressing violence prevention.
  • Celebrity chef, actor and author, Reed Alexander, will address young people and their families about the importance of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
  • KIDS (Kids and Families Impacting Disease through Science), an advisory group of young people experiencing serious medical issues will share their insights into the drug development process and how research and innovation affects young patients on Saturday, March 8.
  • Interactive sessions will explore concerns of everyday life, such as childhood obesity, social media and technology, bullying and concussions in sports.
  • Facilitated discussion groups on topics ranging from diabetes management to planning for college, from “mom-preneurship” to coping with behavioral issues.
  • Educational sessions will cover children’s health at all ages and stages of development, with presentations on breastfeeding, vaccines and newborn care for expectant and new parents, while sessions on acne, HPV, tattoos & body piercing and sports supplements will address concerns of parents with tweens and teens.
  • Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel will demonstrate the importance of water safety on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9.

After speakers’ presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversation with the presenters. Visitors can also check out the Link Up Lounge, hosted by blogger community The Chicago Moms, where they can view the Twitter wall and connect with some of Chicago's leading mom bloggers.

“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,” said pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. Dr. Shu, who is the medical editor of the AAP website for parents,, will present two sessions at the Expo, including a seminar on the latest recommendations for caring for newborns.

Family activities will include live music from Jim Gill & His Band, Miss Lori’s CAMPUS and “Miss Jamie from the Farm,” puppet shows, art projects, cooking demonstrations and an active play zone and learning zone where kids of all ages can have fun and explore. Story Corner, hosted by Reach Out and Read, will feature readings by local authors to demonstrate the importance of reading aloud to kids and literacy development. Onsite services will include a nursing mothers’ lounge, diaper changing station, bookstore and child care services, courtesy of Kids & Company.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday, March 8; and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Admission is $8 for online pre-registration and $10 at the door. Children 18 and under get in free. To view the full conference agenda and registration information, please visit All conference sessions are free to attendees with paid admission.

Posted on February 18, 2014 at 4:10 PM