Santa brings giving, safety and treats to Columbia hospital

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COLUMBIA - Santa Claus came to town a little early Saturday, more specifically to MU Women's and Children's Hospital. 

The hospital gave out doughnuts and hot chocolate in addition to giving families a free chance to meet and take pictures with Santa. Pediatric Injury Prevention Coordinator Sheila Robertson said she hopes children had a positive experience at the hospital's event in addition to having a joyful holiday.

"If kids come to the hospital for a fun event, if they ever have to come to the hospital for an emergency or a procedure or they’re sick, hopefully by them coming here for a fun time they won’t be scared if they ever have to come for another reason," Robertson said.

The hospital askedfor donations of diapers and baby wipes for the Ronald McDonald House. These items help because 78 percent of families that stay there are NICU families, said Angela Huntington, Ronald McDonald House Director of Family Services.

"We thrive off of the generosity of Columbia and the surrounding areas. We wouldn’t be here if they weren’t as generous," Huntington said.

The event also shared important messages of holiday safety while families wait in line to meet Saint Nick. 

  • Watering Christmas trees so they do not dry out or become a fire hazard
  • Checking holiday lights for frayed wires or broken sockets
  • Keeping poisonous holiday plants out of reach
  • Taking coats off children when they are in car seats