Buggy Walk promotes prenatal, infant care

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More than 500 participants walked 1 mile to raise awareness on ways to decrease infant mortality and support healthy pregnancies during the Baby Buggy Walk Saturday.  Celeste Christy

More than 500 participants walked 1 mile to raise awareness on ways to decrease infant mortality and support healthy pregnancies during the Baby Buggy Walk Saturday. Celeste Christy

Michael and Demetria Brown with their son Michael Jr. share their heartache over the loss of a 1-day-old infant.  Celeste Christy

Michael and Demetria Brown with their son Michael Jr. share their heartache over the loss of a 1-day-old infant. Celeste Christy

The fitness event memorializes 122 babies who died in 2012 in San Antonio.

By Lorena R. Rivera

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

More than 500 participants piled into registration lines ready with babies and buggies of all shapes and sizes.

An early morning ceremony marked the first Baby Buggy Walk at the Southside Lions Park and Community Center, 3100 Hiawatha St.

In observance of Infant Mortality Awareness Month, the morning kicked off with a memorial for 122 babies who died in 2012.

The goal of the event, sponsored by San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and Healthy Families network, is to inform parents about ways to prevent infant mortality with proper prenatal and infant care.

The ceremony closed with the release of 122 white balloons in honor of those infants.

Groups of parents, children and pregnant women lined up to start the 1-mile walk.

Among the support-ers were the mascot and cheerleaders of the Talons, San Antonio’s Arena Football League team.

All participants received a Fit Passport, which included access to health fair booths. The first 300 to register received free event T-shirts.

After the walk, participants were encouraged to visit booths to collect information and a stamp to show they had visited.

Each completed passport was entered into a drawing for the end of festivities. Every gift basket was filled with a collection of baby items.

Kelly Bellinger, Healthy Families Network coordinator, said an overwhelming number of donations overflowed bins in the community center.

“It was an amazing turnout for such an important cause,” she said.

For more information on Fit Passport activities through March, visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/parksandrec/fitpassSA.aspx.

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