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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on October 2nd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 30

Lompoc preschool health fairs slated for October

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Free health screenings, medical information, and follow-up services will be offered to students attending public preschools on Oct. 25 at the Lompoc Unified School District’s Adult Education Center.

Nurses, medical assistants, health advocates, and volunteers from more than 20 agencies will provide vision, hearing, and height and weight screenings. Dentists and hygienists are also volunteering to provide dental screenings and fluoride varnish at the event, which is organized by the Health Linkages Program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Child Development Department.

“Illness can interfere with children’s learning and development, and early recognition of health problems result in more effective treatment,” Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone said in a press release. “These health fairs will not only identify children with health concerns, but will provide families with the resources to address those needs.”

Also in the release were statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics that explained why periodic health screenings for preschool children are so important:

  • • An estimated 35 percent of preschool children experience episodes of ear infections and intermittent hearing loss.
  • • Nearly six in 1,000 children develop some degree of permanent hearing loss by the time they start school.
  • • Approximately one in 20 preschoolers has a vision problem, but many young children don’t realize that the way they see the world isn’t the way everyone else sees it.
  • • Obesity among preschoolers in the United States has doubled in the last few decades.
  • • Childhood obesity increases the risk for adult obesity and is associated with a number of health problems.
  • • Dental disease is common among young children, particularly those from low-income families.
  • • Fluoride varnish has been found to be effective in preventing cavities in the teeth of young children.

Additional organizations that want to participate should contact Health Linkages Coordinator Georgene Lowe at 964-4710, Ext. 4455.