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Parents urged to use free health checks for four-year-olds

8 August 2012

Media Release

Parents urged to use free health checks for four-year-olds


While the majority of West Coast parents are taking advantage of the free B4 School Check wellness programme for four year olds, there is still room to capture more, co-ordinator Lorraine Williams says.

The West Coast DHB met its target for the 2011-2012 year of 80% of eligible four year olds having the wellness check.

The check is a ‘well-child’ screening programme and reviews height, weight, oral health, general health issues, vision and hearing, and behavioral development of each child as they turn four years and before they start school.

Lorraine says that following a discussion with a registered nurse and with parental consent, children assessed through the B4SC process can be referred on for various reasons including speech problems, ongoing respiratory issues, and vision, hearing or dental problems

“The checks are a great way to pick up health issues early on, before the children start school, since this is the last wellness check children have before starting.”

When a child turns four, parents receive an information booklet and consent form with return prepaid envelope. Appointments are made at a time when the B4 School Checks are being done in their area.

“The great majority of parents are having their four year olds checked. The main issues for why some children are missing out is that parents are not responding to the material sent to them (about 50% don’t respond) and that families move around and addresses become out of date.”

Advertisements, posters in surgeries and pre schools are being used as reminders to parents, Lorraine said.

ends


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