News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Skycity Helps In Pre-School Health Issue

2 August 2004

Skycity Helps In Fight Against Major Pre-School Health Issue

Preschoolers in the Counties Manukau region have some of the poorest dental health.

Every year 555 children in Counties Manukau are admitted to hospital to have badly decayed teeth removed under general anaesthetic and 350 of those children are under the age of five.

A group of health providers - Kidz First Community Health, the Auckland Regional Dental Service and local primary health organisations Procare Manukau, Total Health Otara and Ta Pasifica - has started a project to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health for children.

Dr Alan Simpson, community paediatrician and clinical head of Kidz First Community Health, says the problem is a failure of prevention. "There seems to be a perception that dental health isn't as important as other aspects of health. And there seems to be a lot of misinformation about what you need to do to prevent dental caries [decay], because it is a preventable disease."

Dental decay has three causes: infectious bugs in the mouth, not cleaning teeth and constant sipping on sugary drinks. Dr Simpson says sharing drinks and spoons can transmit infection. Babies shouldn't be put down with sugary drinks in a bottle, including fruit juice and milk, and he suggests using sipper cups - bottles can sit in the mouth and drip onto the teeth, and it's the duration that the liquid sits in the mouth that is the problem. And of course children's teeth should be brushed regularly as soon as the baby teeth appear.

"There is almost an assumption that your baby teeth don't matter and in fact there's a lot of things that can happen as a result of having your primary teeth infected," says Dr Simpson.

If someone has decayed primary teeth they are much more likely to have decay in their secondary teeth. Also if primary teeth have been taken out or damaged, the adult teeth often come through misaligned, which can affect self-esteem and cause speech problems.

"Dentists are taking out five, 10, and not uncommonly taking all 20 primary teeth out in three-and four-year-olds. Pretty dramatic stuff and traumatic for small children," says Dr Simpson.

The project is spreading the message through primary care. Checking dental health is being integrated into Well Child visits, free health checks for children up to the age of five, so children in need of dental attention can be referred to dental therapists.

SKYCITY Auckland, a major sponsor of Kidz First Children's Hospital, is also supporting the project. The company has funded a dental health awareness advertising campaign - the 'SKYCITY Smile' Campaign, which was launched Sunday 1 August. The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust has also funded the purchase of a new mobile dental caravan, dedicated to Counties Manukau, which will be in operation from mid August.

SKYCITY General Manager Communications Megan McSweeney says that SKYCITY's advertising campaign and mobile dental caravan initiatives support the company's ongoing relationship with Kidz First Children's Hospital and Counties Manukau District Health Board.

"As a prominent Auckland community member, SKYCITY recognises the importance of major health and welfare initiatives. We trust that by assisting the health providers to get these messages out to parents and caregivers, we can help make a difference" says Ms McSweeney. In addition to the SKYCITY Smile Campaign and the dental caravan, SKYCITY is producing a series of dental health education activities, written by the Auckland College of Education, for local teachers and a community health campaign to raise awareness of dental health. The advertising campaign will incorporate an 0800 number (0800 SKYCITY SMILE) people can call to receive a brochure about caring for children's teeth.

Since beginning its sponsorship of Kidz First Children's Hospital in 2000, SKYCITY Auckland has run several campaigns to support community health initiatives including burn prevention and treatment campaigns. The SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust has also supported several Counties Manukau District Health Board projects.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news