Health Advisory for 2016 Carnival Season
Kiddie revellers went all out to wow the audience with their performances during their own Junior Carnival at the William Peter Boulevard last Sunday. Nine bands participated: Just Us Kids, Royalty Kids, Just4Fun, Delights, Storm, Motion Studios, Insommiel, Gros Islet and Vieux Fort.
This was a great time for all juniors to shine, to jump and create fantastic memories. They were allowed to spend hours dancing in eye-catching costumes depicting themes including favourite Disney characters, candy and aquatic life. It was comical watching them run up on stage, bursting a little freestyle dance move here and there! And which child wouldn't be happy with the wares of the vendors: toys and sweets?
What was attention grabbing was the way Just Us Kids had put so much effort into their appearance with meticulously detailed costumes. Their chosen theme was ‘Fancy
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is advising carnival patrons and the general public to be safe and secure during this carnival season. The advisory comes from Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George. She cautions against excessive drinking, exposure to the sun, unsafe sexual practices and reminds the public to use mosquito repellent to prevent the spread of Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses.
Dr. Belmar-George urges persons who will be on the road for extended periods of time to keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Young children should also be kept well hydrated with water as opposed to carbonated drinks and kept out of the direct sunlight for long periods of time.
She encourages the use of sunblock to protect the skin against prolonged exposure to the sun.
The onset of rainy season Sailors: Catch of the Day' with band sections portraying fishes of the sea: Blue Marlin, Atlantic Spear Fish, Tiger Shark, Red Snapper, Pink Butterfish, Mackerel, Starfish, Dolphin, Pot brings with it an increase in vector-borne diseases. "During the carnival time most people have a lot of skin exposed, so you're at risk to bites from the Aedes agypti mosquito. A lot of the evening activities are in outdoor open-air facilities so we are requesting as part of your carnival pack to ensure you have mosquito and insect repellent available and you apply it regularly,” advises Dr. BelmarGeorge.
Drinking and driving is another major issue during the carnival season. The Medical Officer said the Accident and Emergency Departments of the hospitals see an increase in both minor and major injuries during this period.
"We are asking persons please do not drink so that you are not vigilant to be able to take the necessary precautionary measures. If you are going to drink, do Fish and Jellyfish.
Motion Studios also stood out with costumes capturing their theme of ‘Fairytale Wonderland'.
On the other hand, so in moderation and not so excessively that you don't end up being a danger to yourself and to other persons. We are also asking persons to look out for your friends. If you notice your friend is drinking excessively indicate that you will drive them home."
Dr. Belmar-George also noted an increase in sexually transmitted diseases during the carnival season and advises against unsafe sexual habits and practices. "We want persons to have fun but also to keep healthy. We make condoms available at our healthcare facilities and we know that most of the carnival bands provide condoms as part of the carnival pack. So keep yourself safe, keep your family safe as well during this season. We wish people a safe carnival but please take the necessary precautions to reduce the possible impact on your health after the carnival season." something that was not impressive was how some of the young ones, including those no older than the age of five, were dancing inappropriately: whining to the ground and on each other, “twerking” and sticking their little posteriors up in the air. This is Saint Lucia so, of course, there were adults cheering them on but I, for one, do not believe that this is how a child should dance. Then again, they were just copying what they regularly see all around them.
Before the prize-giving there were live performances by one of the island's favorite professional musicians, Teddyson John, followed by several young, aspiring soca/ calypso artists.
After wins in 2008 and every year from 2011 to 2015, Just Us Kids were justified in walking away with the title ‘Band of the Year' for the seventh time.
Final results for the Junior Carnival: Individual's category: third place - Nya Gustave (Just Us Kids) portraying Red Snapper; second place - Vivian Calderon (Just Us Kids) portraying Speared Fish; first place - Amelia Charlmagne (Just Us Kids) portraying Star Fish.
Junior King of the Band Category: third place - Jessie Corniburt (Just Us Kids) portraying Something Fishy; second place - Jarol St Omer (Just4Fun) portraying Savage Indian King; first place - Limarni Lewis (Just Us Kids) portraying Fish for Sale.
Junior Queen of the Band: third place – Kioni Akufoo (Just Us Kids) portraying Dolphins; second place - Zannik Mangal (Storm) portraying Queen of Jab Jab; first place - Nyla Alexander (Just Us Kids) portraying Pot Fish.
Band of the Year: third place with 299 points – ‘Savage' by Just4Fun Kids; second place with 344 points – ‘Fairytale Wonderland' by Motion Studios Kiddies Carnival; first place with 415 points – ‘Fancy Sailors: Catch of the Day” by Just Us Kids.
Happy youngsters giving their all for Just Us Kids.
Concentrating hard on her role as mini ambassdor for Just Us Kids.
Disney Princesses and entourage parading on stage.