Head Start students will get a head start on health screenings

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Students in Carter County’s Head Start Program will get some essential health screenings when the program hosts its annual health fair.
The health fair for students enrolled in the program will be held Sept. 11 and 12 from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. both days. The event will be held in the Oak Street Baptist Church gym and students will be taken by bus from their school to that location.
Parents are invited to attend the event if they wish.
“We do all of our screenings, hearing, vision, and speech and language,” said Paula Hall, health services coordinator for the Head Start program. “We partner with the Carter County Health Department and the dentists from their program come in and will do an oral exam.”
“These are screenings that have to be done, of course with parental consent,” she added.
Students have other required screenings, such as blood pressure checks, but Hall said some of the simple screenings are completed for the children at school.
Health care professionals will also be on hand to do blood lead level tests, which is a required screening for children. “We try to encourage the parent to do that on their own because it is a finger stick test, but with parent’s consent we can do it there,” Hall said.
The health fair event is just for children in the Head Start program, Hall said.
“It is a follow-up to the Spring Child Find program which we held in April,” she said. During the Child Find program, Hall said children eligible to attend the Head Start program are located and assessed. It is during this program that children with special needs are identified.
“They take high priority for placement in our program,” Hall said.

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