News release: Health department State Fair booth focuses on a healthy school year for Minnesota students

News Release
August 20, 2019

Contact information

Health department State Fair booth focuses on a healthy school year for Minnesota students

Help your kid – and all kids – get a healthy start this school year

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 2019 State Fair booth in the Education Building is ready to help ensure all Minnesota students’ back-to-school checklist includes health.

The MDH booth features interactive activities and information about school health and healthy behaviors for students, including preventing tobacco use, healthy eating, mental well-being and oral health. In addition to useful information for teachers, school nurses and others working with school-age kids, parents and other caregivers can grab a back-to-school checklist designed to help students be healthy and successful from preschool through high school.

“The research is clear that better health helps children be present and do their best at school,” said MDH Assistant Commissioner Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler. “We also know that educational achievement and life-long learning helps adults have better health outcomes throughout their lives.”

The “Healthy Kids, Healthy School Year” booth features activities designed to show how better health can lead to better school performance and outcomes. This includes a Plinko-style game where healthy choices give kids a better chance to make the grade as well as an activity in which young children can pack up items needed for a healthy school year.

MDH features highlight days with experts – in one case, a special visitor with expertise in oral health (Spoiler alert: It’s the Tooth Fairy!). MDH will also have a day focused on educating parents and teachers about the current youth epidemic of e-cigarette use. Additional topics of focus include asthma and mental well-being.

  • Friday, Aug. 23 – E-cigarettes – Tips for preventing youth vaping, facts about the e-cigarette youth epidemic and anti-vaping posters that can be posted in schools and other places where youth congregate.
  • Monday, Aug. 26 – Oral health – Dental problems are one of the most common reasons kids miss school. Free toothbrushes and pictures with the Tooth Fairy.
  • Thursday, Aug. 29 – Asthma – Large healthy and unhealthy lungs (airways), resources and “Play with Asthma” posters to be displayed in schools, recreational centers, ice arenas, clinics and athletic facilities.
  • Friday, Aug. 30 – Mental health and well-being – Information, resources and guidance on how to talk about promoting mental health and well-being. Free “tip clips” – magnetic bag clips – with conversation tips attached.

The MDH booth is located inside the Education Building, near the intersection of Cosgrove Street and Dan Patch Avenue. The booth is open every day of the fair, Aug. 22 through Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Visit the MDH at the Minnesota State Fair webpage [page expired] to learn more about the MDH booth and other attractions at the fair including the following:

  • The Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative’s booth and MDH’s drinking water exhibit in the Eco Experience building.
  • MDH will be part of highlighting Mental Health Awareness Aug. 26 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dan Patch Park located next to the Grandstand.
  • The Lactation Station [expired link] gives moms a quiet, air-conditioned place to breastfeed or pump breastmilk and learn about Minnesota WIC (Women, Infants and Children).


Media inquiries:

Kate Awsumb
MDH Communications