Early Childhood Health Screenings

by Sandra Phoenix

Every parent wants their child to be the best they can be. Early childhood health screenings can have long lasting benefits for your child. Ready By 21 and Healthy Peninsula are sponsoring an Early Childhood Health Fair on Saturday, April 27, at Island Family Medicine from 9-1. This event will offer FREE health, dental, and developmental screenings, resources for parents, face painting, and other fun activities for young children ages 18 months-5 years of age. Every child will receive a free book.

What is child development?

A child’s growth is more than just physical. Children grow, develop, and learn throughout their lives, starting at birth. Skills, such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving. A child’s development can be evaluated by following the timing of these milestones through their childhood.

What is a developmental delay?

A developmental delay is when your child does not reach these milestones at the same time as other children the same age. If your child is not developing properly, there are things you can do that may help. Most of the time, a developmental problem is not something your child will “grow out of” on his or her own. But with help, your child could reach his or her full potential.

Why is screening important?

Very few children complain about vision or hearing problems because they have no way of knowing that their experience is not normal. Dental care beginning at age one is important for lifelong oral health. Many children have delays in language or other areas that can affect school readiness. However, fewer than half of children with developmental delays are identified before starting school. This can mean missed opportunities for early action.

How can I help my child’s development?

Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest are very important for children’s health and development. Providing a safe and loving home and spending time with your child—playing, singing, reading, and even just talking—can also make a big difference in his or her development.

What can I expect at the Early Childhood Health Fair?

At the Fair, Child Development Services will offer play-based developmental screenings for children from 18 months-5 years of age. Nurses from Island Family Medicine will provide height, weight, hearing, and vision screenings, and a local dentist will provide dental screenings. The entire process will take about an hour.

This event will be fun and child friendly, including face painting, games, and healthy snacks. Think of the hour you will spend at the fair as an investment in your child’s lifelong health and learning.

All services are FREE and confidential, but appointments are required. Make an appointment today by calling Island Family Medicine at 367-2311.

Sandra Phoenix is a nurse practitioner and on the boards of Ready By 21 and Healthy Peninsula

#Children #Families

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