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The best start B4 School

3 September 2015

The best start B4 School

One free assessment was all it took for Cannons Creek mother Tiata Robati to learn that her twins may have vision or hearing problems that could affect their performance in school.

“It was quite interesting. It’s made me aware that I need to get their eyes checked in case they need glasses,” she says.

Tiata took her four year old twins Inuau and Kauta to her local Plunket clinic for a B4 School check, which includes a hearing, eyesight, height, weight, and dental check-up, as well as a comprehensive health and development assessment.

While doctors’ visits generally focus on one area, B4 School checks look at all areas children or their parents might need support with to ensure they’re ready for school, says B4 School nurse Caroline Abbott.

“We know they’re only four but it’s more looking for signs of anything we might need to talk about, or if parents need extra help.

“If there’s an issue that’s interfering with a child’s ability to learn they can get frustrated, and will often act up in class.”

B4 School nurses can help parents by providing them with parenting strategies if necessary, or referral on to other support agencies in the community, she says.

After assessing that Tiata’s twins potentially had vision and hearing problems, Caroline referred her to an optometrist for further assessment.

Tiata says more parents should take advantage of the checks.

“It might not amount to anything but it’s good to be aware of any issues they have you might not know about, so you can get them sorted before they start school.”

Last financial year 3,296 B4 Schools checks were carried out in the Wellington, Porirua and Kapiti Coast regions.


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