First responders learn about Prader-Willi Syndrome in Huntersvil - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

First responders learn about Prader-Willi Syndrome in Huntersville

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HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

The Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (PWSA) of the Carolinas hosted an annual conference at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville on Saturday.

North Carolina and South Carolina parents and children were invited to the conference to raise awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome.

PWSA President Rebecca Smith said Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder where children haven an increased interest in food.

Smith explained that after birth a PWS sufferer may be born with weak muscles and have no interest in food.

Other early symptoms are delayed speech development and low energy levels.

Around 2-3 years old, a child suffering from PWS will have an increased interest in food and will feel hungrier than normal, Smith said.

Smith said some children suffering with PWS will steal food from a restaurant or grocery store.

PWSA invited local police officers and firefighters to educate them on the condition.

Smith said it is important to educate law enforcement on PWS so they know a sufferers food theft is a medical condition and is not of malicious intent.

Huntersville Fire Department's PIO Bill Suthard said the first responders attended the event so kids will feel comfortable approaching an officer or firefighter in the future.

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